The Conigital driverless revolution: leading driverless and low carbon projects
The Conigital Group’s Project Synergy and Project CAPRI will be receiving a share of the £109.7 million awarded to UK industry announced by Business Secretary Gregg Clark and Transport Minister John Hayes today (11 April 2017), to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles, as part of the Industrial Strategy and the government’s Plan for Britain.
Project Synergy and Project CAPRI, awarded £4.7m and £5.7m respectively, are two of 24 innovative projects that will share grants from the latest round of funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK for research and development projects supporting connected autonomous vehicle deployments and associated technologies.Under Project Synergy, Conigital will work closely with Westfield Sports Cars, Fusion, Harper Adams University in the West Midlands and several partners in Manchester including Manchester Airport Group, Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council and Stockport Borough Council to develop driverless connected autonomous vehicles. The project will use the latest sensor technology to allow three low carbon electric sports vehicles to drive in a close formation platoon between Stockport railway station and Manchester Airport, in addition to driverless shuttle pods from the car park to the terminal building demonstrating the technology to travellers.
Under these two new projects, Conigital will be developing MaaS, fleet management and a virtual AI travel concierge known as Gemma, who is best described as the sister of KITT from the popular fictional Knight Rider series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_Rider_(1982_TV_series) in which David Hasselhoff played Michael Knight.
This concierge service for travellers will support them on their journey allowing them to check in on line, start their duty-free shopping or surf the internet and allow access to infotainment services.
The project will investigate and provide solutions to ensure secure connectivity and develop appropriate sensors to fit into the urban infrastructure.
Synergy and CAPRI will lead to the formation of new business models to improve passenger mobility and the environment whilst providing economic growth through new job and business creation.
Conigital Chief Executive Monique Seth said:
“The government recognises that the CAV market, estimated to be worth some £51 billion by 2030, is a high-tech industry that will help to grow the economic prosperity of the UK. Now councils and authorities are switched on to this and are looking to engage with the fledgling industry to reduce congestion in their cities and support cleaner air for citizens. The idea is for members of the community to be able to utilise the vehicles – at Conigital we are very focused on the passenger interaction and their experience while on the journey. So for example on Project Synergy, Gemma, our virtual concierge service will be able to have a conversation, check in online and do your duty free shopping. A lot of our interactive systems have accessibility built into them so that members of the elderly, visually impaired, less abled feel included and are also able to use those functions. We work closely with the Beacon centre for the Blind Charity – and have user groups from them shaping how we deliver our products”
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
“Low carbon and driverless cars are the future and as a Government we are determined through the Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and put the UK at the forefront of this revolution. Investment in this technology is an integral part of this Government’s efforts, to ensure the UK auto sector remains competitive and world-leading.
The projects being awarded funding today will help extend our excellence in these cutting edge research fields, helping to safeguard jobs while ensuring the UK remains the go-to destination for automotive excellence.”
Transport Minister John Hayes said:
“I am absolutely committed to improving air quality and reducing pollution in towns and cities, which is essential for people’s health and the environment.
This government is investing £109 million to support British businesses in developing innovative, important technologies which will greatly reduce our emissions footprint.
The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels and our renewed support for these exciting technologies is yet another significant milestone.”
Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan said:
“These successful industry-led R&D projects will further spearhead UK development of low emission, and connected and autonomous vehicle technology, building on our world-leading research and innovation capability in this area and the significant strength of UK businesses large and small in this field.”