Leading Project CORAM (Connected On-Road Autonomous Mobility) is Propelmee, an Autonomous Vehicle Technology company that is developing an operating system to enable full autonomy for self-driving cars. The project will bring together expertise, state of the art testing facilities and the CAV assets of the Transport Systems Catapult and Cranfield University. 

Research by the CORAM consortium will pave the way for infrastructure-based connectivity to enable safer on-road autonomy. The results will support the creation of new message structures and communication protocols for the vehicles. The improved shared information goes beyond the existing Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Location autonomous driving systems.

The research will culminate in a demonstration at Cranfield University’s state-of-the-art Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI) research facility utilising Transport System Catapult’s autonomous pods.

Professor Antonios Tsourdous, Head of Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems Centre at Cranfield University said: “CORAM will be a significant collaborative trial at our  research facility. MUEAVI is a purpose-built, instrumented roadway created as a ‘living laboratory’ for research into connected and autonomous vehicles.

“It enables autonomous vehicles to be researched and tested in diverse real-world situations and environments. This capability is essential to develop and gain confidence in the exciting technological developments of autonomous vehicles.”

Zain Khawaja, Founder & CEO of Propelmee, said: “Connectivity has a key role to play in autonomy, and infrastructure sensing has the potential to greatly aid and enable full autonomy, especially when on-vehicle sensing struggles to accurately perceive the world or 3D maps are broken. Infrastructure can assist autonomy in urban city centres where there is a large density of pedestrians, buses, taxis, cyclists and complex and unpredictable driving scenarios often arise.

“The CORAM consortium will take the first steps in developing a proof of concept of such a system and will help establish the groundwork for the UK to become a world-leader in connected infrastructure for fully autonomous mobility”.

Transport Systems Catapult CEO, Paul Campion, added: “The competition to develop Connected and Autonomous Vehicles is accelerating and as a centre of excellence in transport research, we see this project as making a significant contribution to ensuring that UK is at the forefront of this revolution in mobility.

“As a partner in CORAM, we will leverage our CAV expertise to explore the potential of infrastructure-based sensing to accelerate the introduction of these vehicles into everyday usage in the UK with the maximum possible benefits for passengers and the road network as a whole.”

The CORAM consortium was awarded the funding as part of a CCAV (Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles) and Innovate UK competition to invest in industry-led research and development projects on CAVs. The aim of the competition was to find projects that would deliver technical solutions for CAVs, and leveraging connectivity for autonomy, provide real-world benefits to users.