SBD Automotive is collaborating on a 30-month Autonomous Vehicle project, led by Nissan's European Technical Centre, as a part of Renault-Nissan Alliance research activities, which will culminate in the most complex journey yet attempted across the UK without driver input. The ‘HumanDrive’ project vehicle will be expected to deal with a variety of UK unique driving scenarios, including country roads, high speed roundabouts, A-Roads, Motorways in live traffic and different environmental conditions. Additionally, the vehicle will emulate a natural human driving style, providing an enhanced experience for the occupants.
To achieve this, the project will draw upon the expertise of a variety of organisations, including the tech giant Hitachi and Transport Systems Catapult, who oversaw the first UK test of a driverless vehicle in a public space in 2016. Within the project, SBD Automotive will create a cyber threat model of the in-car and cloud-based system and advise on the specific HMI challenges of autonomous driving. Other partners include Cranfield University, University of Leeds, HORIBA MIRA, Atkins, Aimsun Ltd, and Highways England.
The HumanDrive project will seek to take autonomous technology to the next level in terms of ride comfort and adaptability, covering a number of different UK road scenes with natural road positioning.
Alain Dunoyer PhD, Head of the Autonomous Division at SBD, said:
“This project involves a vehicle that will be able to handle most situations driver-free, but may ask for assistance in certain scenarios. We will be assessing how the system notifies the request, as an effective HMI is vital in moments where the car is handling a continuously changing situation. The findings here will also influence how future systems are implemented.”
The artificial driver model (controlling perception and decision making) will pilot the vehicle, and will be developed using the latest artificial intelligence technologies. Before being introduced to UK roads, the system will be developed and subjected to robust testing using a range of facilities, including simulation, hardware in the loop, private test track and small sections of public roads.
Greg Clark, Business and Energy Secretary, said:
“Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility. This revolution has the potential to be worth £52bn to our economy by 2035 and the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change is one we cannot afford to miss.
“Through our Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal investment in the development of driverless technology we are committed to working with industry to seize these opportunities. Trailblazing projects like the HumanDrive project will play a vital role helping us deliver on that ambition, with UK businesses and research institutions working with partners from around the world on the disruptive technologies and services of the future.”
Paul Sanderson PhD, Cybersecurity Senior Specialist at SBD, said:
“Over the last 20 years, SBD has worked with the majority of major vehicle manufacturers. We have found that there are significant cost and security advantages when vehicles are developed to be secure by design. SBD will develop a threat model to identify the Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) security requirements, as well as recommending countermeasures to address any potential security weaknesses within the Artificial Intelligence”.
HumanDrive is jointly funded by government and industry. The government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.