Europe’s first open testing event for autonomous vehicle development is set to take place in the UK in November, in the first of a series of events across Europe intended to help accelerate the development of self-driving car technology, from vehicle dynamics aspects, to systems.
Aimed at teams developing autonomous vehicle technologies and ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), these private test-track events, which will be held every three months, will provide safe and secure venues to conduct research and development work, including handling circuits and off-road areas. The company intends to work closely with venues, industry associations and trade bodies.
“Driverless vehicle technology is a young discipline which pools expertise from different areas of mechanical, electrical and software engineering skills. We’re keen to close the skills gaps between education and what industry is telling us is missing in the talent pool,” stated Alex Lawrence-Berkeley, co-founder of Self Driving Track Days, the organizer of the events. “These events will bring people together and help to develop their skills and experience, to be ready for the critical next step for their products.”
Lawrence-Berkeley is keen to emphasize that the events were focused on increasing engineering skills and experience: “These track days are for innovators, inventors and researchers. Teams at commercial, academic or hobbyist level can explore autonomous vehicle technology in a safe, affordable and collaborative environment – and have access to specialist training that only experienced industry professionals can deliver”.
• Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, UK: November 15-16, 2016. Includes 1-mile (1.6km) multi-lane motorway straight
• Driving Center Castellet, France: February 21-22, 2017. Racing circuit with separate handling areas
• Longcross Test Track, UK: May 10-11, 2017, Surfaced and unsurfaced test circuits
• Zentrum Teesdorf, Austria: July 28-29, 2017. Flagship event with four circuits, including a road-training center, handling circuit amd off-road area, plus multiple face-to-face training workshops, networking and more