O2 and the European Space Agency will be supporting ‘Project Darwin’, an ambitious four year trial programme designed to pave the way for next generation connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
The project aims to test new technology and end-to-end connectivity solutions including 5G and satellite communications to ultimately create a new CAV industry vertical.
Based in the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, ‘Project Darwin’ will bring together Oxford and Glasgow Universities, Spanish satellite operator Hispasat, start-ups specialised in self-driving mobility solutions and Darwin Innovation Group Oxford.
From July 2019 the high-level design and definition phase will begin at Harwell to explore key connected vehicle and Vehicle-SIM platforms as well as AI neural network integration. From 2020 the project hopes to be in position to showcase the first ‘proof of concepts’.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said, “This new partnership between government and industry will build on our world-leading reputation in the development and manufacture of satellites even further, to bring together two of the UK’s great strengths – automotive and space. Putting us at the forefront of the next generation of self-driving cars of tomorrow – a key ambition in our modern Industrial Strategy.”
Derek McManus, COO, O2 said, “Our approach to this project is part of our wider strategy to collaborate with British businesses, partners and start-ups to unlock the possibilities of 5G for customers and wider UK economy.”
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth, UK Space Agency said, “The future of mobility is one of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges, and this project will help ensure this critical technology is developed in Harwell, bringing expertise, jobs and growth to the UK.”