A route for testing autonomous vehicles in the UK is being prepared, with the intention of providing a realistic environment for companies in the industry in a safe manner. The initiative comes from a consortium of mobility companies, led by Midlands Future Mobility, and is expected to cover a region close to downtown Birmingham, as well as Conventry and Solihull.
The intention is to mix rural and urban stretches, including major transportation centers such as Birmingham Airport and railway stations, for a total of 300km, but there are plans to expand the route to about 350km by the end of 2020. Initially, only vehicles driven by humans, but connected together, will be tested. The test cars exchanged information on traffic, collision and other hazards.
Even when fully autonomous vehicles start to be tested in the region, a driver must travel next to the car to supervise the decisions made by the AI, and it is possible that a second passenger will follow the route, also with a view to analyzing the behavior of the machines.