Mobility innovators from the public and private sectors have announced an Innovate UK-funded research project to help realise level 4/5 connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) adoption in cities.


The ParkAV project aims to solve the issue of where these vehicles will go to drop off passengers, how they park between trips to recharge, access storage, or be serviced and, importantly, blend the relationship between on and off-street parking to support Mobility as a Service (MaaS) operators.


The new consortium, made up of Jaguar Land Rover, AppyWay, Coventry City Council, Milton Keynes Council and managed by WhiteWillow Consulting, has focused efforts on how do urban areas, traffic and highways planners ensure empty CAVs do not contribute to traffic and congestion?


Globally, automated valet parking (AVP) is being explored at a technical level by vehicle manufacturers. However, the ParkAV partners suggest that, while such engineering developments are to be welcomed, developing a scalable and sustainable framework to see AVP become commonplace, and monetised, requires a deeper public and private sector collaboration.


Ben Boutcher-West, head of mobility for AppyWay, said: ‘A key deliverable within the project has been a detailed framework for both the flow of data and the flow of money to ensure AVP is viable solution. Beyond just the vehicle technology, AVP looks to deliver the function within a mobility subscription in one technical and commercial interface. As a consortium, we have maintained a customer focus, ensuring consumers no longer have to enter an off-street facility at all and can enjoy a much more convenient service, dropped off at their destination.’ 


A key issue is understanding the detailed flow of money and data that will enable multiple on and off-street operators and service providers to work together, presenting the operator and consumer with a single interface with which to do business. A comprehensive data and money exchange model has been developed, ensuring systems scale across multiple sites and are commercially and socially viable.


It is hoped the work from the ParkAV project will enable the sector to deliver CAVs in a more integrated way. The steps laid out by the consortium form a call to action to government and an opportunity for all sectors to collaborate further.


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