Technical Topics are actively bringing technical understanding and training solutions to UK aftermarket garages and technicians. We were very interested in following the story of the Nissan led HumanDrive consortium, as it touches two areas of vehicle technology, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle which we have been supporting with technical training for the past couple of years.

The ambitious project, which received combined Government funding totalling around £13.5 million, had an objective, known as the Grand Drive, of driving from the Nissan European Technical Centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire to the factory in Sunderland.

The 230 mile journey, which was completed on 28th November 2019, featured the Nissan Leaf that was fitted with GPS, radar, LIDAR, and cameras. It saw the lessons learned at Cranfield put into practice in a wide range of real-world driving scenarios in order to enable the Leaf to negotiate country lanes with no or minimal road markings, junctions, roundabouts and motorways. The autonomous technology was utilised along the route to change lanes, merge and stop and start when necessary.

The journey marks a very significant milestone in the development of autonomous cars, but the HumanDrive went beyond simply the development or refinement of autonomous drive technology. The research focused on advancing cyber security features in autonomous drive vehicles, developing testing and safety methodologies for UK autonomous drive testing whilst also investigating the implications that autonomous drive vehicles will have on the wider transport system.

There are significant implications for aftermarket repair business of autonomous drive, particularly relating to vehicle repairs, concerning the correct diagnosis, repair and calibration procedures of radar, LIDAR, and camera systems. Technical Topics is a leading provider of technical training solutions relating to autonomous driver assistance systems, also known as ADAS, for independent garages, technicians and body repair businesses.

Check out our ADAS Accredited training here

The HumanDrive consortium consists of the following partners (along with their specific area of interest). Nissan: Lead partner and leading the autonomous vehicle (AV) development. Hitachi: Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide human-like control and perception. University of Leeds: Understanding humanistic driving and its application to AVs whilst also developing a driver risk model. Connected Places Catapult (CPC): Project management, communications and marketing activity, dissemination and safety case elements of the project. HORIBA MIRA: Provider of test facilities, supported safety aspects of the project. SBD Automotive: Cyber security support and AV Human machine Interface (HMI) studies. Cranfield University: Provider of test facilities and supported AV demonstrations. Atkins Ltd: Provision of a Cyber Security Framework. Aimsun Ltd: Studying the impact of AVs on the transport system. Highways England: Understanding the infrastructure needs for AV deployment.

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