Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) has joined the ‘UK Autodrive’ consortium along with Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. UK Autodrive is the largest of three separate consortia that are currently testing automated vehicle technology in the UK. It is a part of a government-backed competition to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles in the UK.
TMETC has pitted the self-driving Tata Hexa into the public testing of the autonomous tech on the streets of Coventry, UK. The autonomous Hexa along with JLR’s F-Pace, Range Rover Sport and Ford’s Mondeo sedan took on the streets for the first time in a controlled autonomous testing. The research team plans to test public reaction to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles around Coventry and move to Milton Keynes by the end of next year.
Tata’s subsidiaries – TMETC and JLR – are employing bespoke GPS connected vehicles that are capable of self-driving. The Ford Mondeo, on the other hand, has undergone extensive testing back home in the United States and is now looking to adapt to the UK’s condition using its own autonomous tech.
Nick Fell, director and head of TMETC, commenting on the autonomous testing, said: “This project will enable Tata Motors to test and evaluate its autonomous vehicle technology alongside world-class partners, and we are very excited about the prospect of sharing our knowledge and learning from others in this groundbreaking technology with both UK and global significance.”
The UK government is pushing for the autonomous driving technology in the country. An “Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill” was drafted recently to boost the acceptance of autonomous cars in the country. The bill also clarifies how driverless vehicles will be insured and who is accountable for damages following any kind of accidents.
The India-made Hexa is not the first prototype from the carmaker to be tested on the UK soil. TMETC had previously showcased a Tata Tiago adapted with electric powertrain apart from the Bolt EV.