Emergent Tech

It knows where the gravel pits and power lines are. So, Ordnance Survey, where should UK's driverless cars go?

Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map…

By Richard Priday

28 SHARE

UK cartographer the Ordnance Survey (OS) has been selected by the government to help it create an infrastructure for driverless cars.

With £750,000 from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, OS's "E-CAVE" intends to develop an infrastructure with "open standards and architecture" focusing on "positioning and safety".

"E-CAVE will be looking at how CAVs [connected and autonomous vehicles] will be exchanging safety-related messages between themselves and their supporting systems," an OS spokesman said. "OS will be providing expertise, advice and evidence-based insights with a view to helping uplift the test beds capability for the UK."

OS has some experience of this from the "Atlas initiative", a project started in 2016 with a team of companies including the Transport Research Laboratory and Sony Europe, fuelled by £20m of the previous government's funding.

Over the project's four-year life, OS will be assisted by "industrial and academic partners" along with the government-backed self-driving testers Innovate UK, CCAV and Meridian.

Before the Autumn Budget, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said that he wanted to have fully automated vehicles on the roads of Britain by 2021. It was a target met with both enthusiasm and scepticism by those in the industry, with OS's apparent 2022 deadline perhaps indicating that the time-scale is being slowly nudged backwards by the government.

OS CEO Nigel Clifford said of E-CAVE in a statement: "This project will provide the UK government with evidence-based insights to speed up the deployment of connected environments in the UK."

Business secretary Greg Clarke said: "With its centuries of experience in mapping and its status as a big data powerhouse, Ordnance Survey's new project will make a valuable contribution to us achieving our bold ambitions." ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

28 Comments

More from The Register

FBI for the Apple guy: Bloke accused of stealing car kit collared

Engineer facing trade secrets theft rap for allegedly trying to defect with self-driving tech

In Soviet California, pedestrian hits you! Bloke throws himself in front of self-driving car

We're not sure why but maybe it will become a thing

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year

General Motors CTO chats to El Reg about robo-ride timings

General Motors turns key on bug bounty program

With a zillion suppliers under the hood of most cars, this could get interesting

Go park yourself: Brit firm flashes self-parking car tech

Plus: who gets priority at unmarked junctions. We know you care about this

The KITT hits the Man: US Congress urged to OK robo-car trials

Democracy being what it is, some folks are opposed

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

Parts-maker Delphi wants BlackBerry-mobiles on the road in 2019

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Biz scaled back number of sensors from five to just one

Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

Didn't help that the automaker's financial results also sucked

General Motors issues stop deliver for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

Faulty air bags and parking brake cables halt sales