Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a consortium that has secured government funding from Innovate UK to test driverless cars in the Bristol region. This appointment follows the UK Chancellor’s recent autumn statement announcement to make the UK a world center for the testing and development of this new technology.
Williams will bring its simulator and artificial intelligence technology to the project. An autonomous vehicle system will be integrated with the simulator to test it in a virtual environment. This technology will help increase the number of hours the system can be tested and can simulate various weather conditions and traffic scenarios that are difficult to test on real roads. Williams’ simulator technology will also help test public acceptance to driverless vehicles.
Williams’ expertise in simulation originates in Formula One where the Williams Formula One teams’ drivers have been using sophisticated simulators since 2002. Williams Advanced Engineering has been commercializing this technology since 2010, with previous projects including the development of road safety simulators to improve driving standards in Qatar.
The consortium, called VENTURER, includes a range of organizations including Atkins, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, AXA, Fusion Processing, Centre for Transport and Society, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaboration between the University of Bristol and UWE Bristol.