CAPRI: driving forward technological change

A consortium of 20 parties have come together under the CAPRI consortium to make driverless pods a practical reality.

29 December 2017
Ambition

The CAPRI consortium brings together academic institutions, businesses, SMEs and public sector authorities with a range of skills, knowledge and needs in the connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) arena.

The CAPRI consortium was awarded the funding as part of a Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK competition to invest £35 million in industry-led research and development projects on CAVs.

CAPRI POD

A consortium of 20 parties have come together under the CAPRI consortium to make driverless pods a practical reality.

The consortium that Burges Salmon advises includes AXA, AECOM, University of Warwick, Transport Simulation Systems and other academic institutions, businesses, SMEs and public sector authorities who bring together their wealth of experience, skills, knowledge and needs in the CAVs arena.

What was once in the realms of science fiction, now feels firmly within our reach. Driverless vehicles and the revolution that will take place with their arrival, are fast becoming a reality.

Chris Jackson, head of Transport at Burges Salmon, explains: “There has definitely been a significant shift over the past year. We’ve worked on major projects for a few years now on the legal and insurance aspects of CAVs, which include driverless cars and pods. I see this as a great foundation to get the UK ready for CAVs. Earlier in 2017, the second round of government grants were handed out for research and trials aimed at taking this project to the next stage. CAPRI is tasked with looking at how fleets of autonomous pods could carry out urban maintenance activities across the UK, in turn leading to the use of CAVs to move people around airports, hospitals, business parks, shopping and tourist centres.”

David Williams, Technical Director, AXA UK, comments: “I am delighted that CAPRI has been chosen by Innovate UK in its latest round of funding dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles.

“AXA has a proven track record for innovation in this area and we’ve enjoyed working with Burges Salmon on the prior projects, which are hastening the arrival of CAVs in the UK. The project focuses on the pedestrian and road environments, which will allow us to investigate and respond to the issues that arise from the public’s perception and concerns around autonomous vehicles. Our extensive experience to date in this field means we are perfectly placed to examine the insurance and legal questions that CAVs pose.

“My sense is that the various consortia working together will solve the challenges we need to deal with more quickly than a purely technology-led approach. I am looking forward to working with the other partners in the CAPRI consortium to enable these vehicles to make a positive impact on society.”

The trials, which are first taking place on private land (Filton Airport in Bristol, where Concorde was designed and manufactured) will then move on to public trials in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The trials are due to last 15 months.

“Fifteen months is a long time in the world of CAVs,” continues Chris. “The pace of change is definitely ramping up as the first public launches get nearer to becoming a reality.”

What others say...

My sense is that the various consortia working together will solve the challenges we need to deal with more quickly than a purely technology-led approach.
David Williams, Technical Director, AXA UK

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