CAV-focused proving ground to open in Q4 2021


CAVWAY, a UK proving ground aiming to specialise in the development and testing of Connected and Autonomous vehicles (CAVs) is expected to become operational in Q4 2021, following the granting of planning permission. CAVWAY is a consortium between Prova Developments and IDIADA Automotive Technology (UK), which intends to make the facilities available for the development and testing of CAVs and other new mobility technologies.

Building works have already started, with land moved and paths established to give building machinery access to the site. The proving ground will sit partly on the site of the former Oakfield Airfield in Buckinghamshire, located halfway between Oxford and Aylesbury. The site is expected to occupy a total area of 77ha, with just over 105,000 square metres of tracks, loops and intersections planned to be built. The airfield hangar will be preserved and used for workshops and offices.

The partners say that CAVWAY will be unique as it will include a comprehensive variety of highway junctions, all within a connected, controlled, repeatable and safe environment to perform all required test and validation programmes for ADAS and CAV development, according to the latest Euro NCAP and regulation requirements.

The site will also feature fully configurable V2X, C-V2X and 4G / 5G network coverage, which will make it possible to control everything the vehicle ‘hears’ and ‘sees’ in a coordinated way to set up a wide range of edge-case traffic scenarios. CAVWAY will also offer vehicle simulation and cyber security testing in normal and abnormal conditions, as well as connectivity testing and benchmarking, among other services.

An aerial view of the CAVWAY site near Oxford

CAVWAY is part of a central UK government initiative by the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). Overall, the initiative provided £100M of government funding, which was fund-matched by industry to create a network of testing sites across the UK to support the emerging industry for connected & autonomous technology.

The airfield hangar at CAVWAY will be preserved and updated, for use as workshop and office space

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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