First track and training event, Loughborough meet-up and more!

Project Leader of IMPART, Prof. Peter Thomas
Project Leader of IMPART, Prof. Peter Thomas

We have enjoyed a very busy few days in Leicestershire after running two events in the county this month.  The first was our networking meetup in Loughborough on the 10th, sponsored by IMPART, and held at Loughborough University with around 20 people attending.

The networking event was hosted, as usual, by me…  I presented a short round-up of the market as it stands (updated every month) for the many people not obsessing over the subject on TechCrunch and Twitter like I do, before talking about the SDTD event series.. more of that later!

I was joined by Professor Peter Thomas, IMPART’s Project Lead and an expert in Road Safety and ADAS systems, who talked about the mission of connecting universities and commercial organisations in the industry as it evolves.

Thanks to the IMPART team for generously providing lunch for everyone, and we’ll look forward to coming back to Loughborough again for another meet-up at some point next year or so.  A number of university staff and students were present, along with numerous representatives from the automotive technology and infrastructure industries.

Our next meet-up will be held in London on December 12th (Register)

Driverless Test track and Training eventcxtg7cpwiaah_bp

We have, after a mere 3 months of preparation, also run our – and Europe’s – very first open testing event for autonomous vehicles.

cxtugclwgaa3d0iOur partners AutonomouStuff (working closely with Dataspeed Inc), provided some awesome technology demonstrations, showing off a lot of high-end technology deployed into a top of the range Ford Mondeo (known as a Ford Fusion in the US), including controlled the vehicle with an Xbox controller.

cxutt2mwgaqqqugWiltshire-based engineering company Anthony Best Dynamics ran demonstrations on a Volvo, with robotic armatures and remote control systems as well (pictured right), primarily using GPS.  On several occasions the car was spotted happily driving around on its own with nobody in it!

Both of these cars are factory-supplied with MobilEye systems and have a variety of built-in other sensors and ADAS systems by other suppliers which aid the capacity for decision making by the controlling computer (if needed), although these were generally not used in these demos, although almost everyone who came to the site managed to get at least one demo and ask lots of questions too.
cxttbknweaasgazWe also ran a multi-part 1-day training workshop attended by around 50 people (about 25 each day), lead primarily by Terry Lamprecht of AutonomouStuff (pictured left).

We welcomed a number of journalists and TV crews working on upcoming projects (one of which will be shown very soon), as well as a Formula Student team from Birmingham who we had invited to use a section of track which was spare – they also brought some colleagues along for the workshop and demos.

Some of our sponsors were also on site, including Quantum (Data storage), while both LeddarTech (Lidar) and Novatel (GPS) presented sessions on their products and technology specialities.

cxths0owgaae5kiThe event was attended by a wide range of businesses and other organisations (including two major car manufacturers) who sent along roboticists, vision researchers, technologists, R&D engineers, as well as students, staff and researchers from Oxford, Brunel, Birmingham, Oxford Brookes, DeMontfort and Derby universities.

We’re really pleased about having come so far in such a short space of time and will be looking forward to running bigger and better events in the coming year.  

Back to Leicestershire again!

We’ll be attending the Midlands Intelligent Mobility Conference, which is free to join – and that, as we know, is the best price (AgendaRegister) – we might even be speaking (albeit briefly) so please do pop along and say hello.