In an effort to curb road accidents and to improve accessibility, the UK government started testing the autonomous program a couple of years back. The Tata Autonomous Vehicles testing fleet includes Tata’s Hexa, Tiago, Range Rover and F-pace. All these vehicles have been fitted with the latest sensor technology and a display mounted on the dashboard. These modifications provide the data necessary for the autonomous driving research.
A total of 7 technologies that are being tested in the UK are as follows-
1. Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) – It monitors and sends a direct signal to the connected vehicle about an approaching emergency vehicle like Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Police vehicle and provides the info to the diver to make way for it.
2. Intersection Collision Warning (ICW) – It works with a centralized system that monitors and informs the vehicles approaching an intersection when it is safe to enter an intersection so as to avoid any mishappenings.
3. In-vehicle Signage (IVS) – It collects and sends real-time data to connected cars pertaining to road condition, congestion or incidents so the vehicle can choose their route accordingly.
4. Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EEBL) – This system alerts the driver in case of the car ahead brakes suddenly and works up to a range of 500m assisting the driver in conditions where the vehicle braking is unseen to the driver due to weather conditions, road layout or other vehicles in between.
5. Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) – This centralized system connects all the traffic lights and provides the connected cars with the optimal speed to approach traffic signals providing optimised movement of vehicles and minimal stopping time at lights improving overall efficiency.
6. Intersection Priority Management (IPM) – This system assigns priority when two or more connected vehicles approach an intersection without priority signs or traffic lights.
7. Collaborative Parking – Provides real time info as to the location of available parking spaces either in the vicinity or close to the driver’s destination.
Among the Tata Autonomous Vehicles, the Tata Tiago is being tested for the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) system wherein the car is connected to the traffic lights system and suggests the driver the optimal speed for minimal stops at traffic lights creating a green corridor and stop free environment. Another such technology being tested on the Tiago is the Advanced Highway Assist which helps the driver by autonomously changing lanes on the highway.
The Tata Hexa is being the mule in testing full autonomous driving and is being done in collaboration with the Tata Motors European Technical Center (TMETC) and UK Autodrive. While TMETC is responsible for the development and incorporation of required hardware into the vehicle, UK Autodrive connects auto manufacturers and the British government for development and testing of autonomous driving vehicles.