UK Connected & Intelligent Test Envionment (UK CITE)

  • Esugo, Martin, (Principal Investigator)
  • Haas, Olivier (Principal Investigator)
  • Payre, William (Principal Investigator)
  • Diels, Cyriel, (Co-Investigator)
  • Agbaje, Oluwaleke, (Research Assistant)
  • Stephan, Antoine (Researcher)

Project: Research


Main challenge: what are the technical solutions that need to be developedand deployed on UK roads and in-vehicles to enable the connected vehiclesto achieve their expected benefits. I consider the UKCITE project as successfulfrom the consortium and extremely successful from Coventry University’sperspective. From the consortium perspective, the proposed real-worldConnected Car to infrastructure demonstrator has been realised and will beexploited and supported for more than the 2 years initially agreed. It broughttogether multiple technologies for the purpose of testing both the technicaland commercial viability of a road network “Connected Corridor” on a mixtureof road types managed by both Coventry City Council and Highways England(HE). Various telecommunications technologies were installed and evaluatedand various types of messages sent between vehicles and with theinfrastructure. Advance Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) exploiting thesecommunication technologies were integrared in an app and in vehiclesystems by Visteon and Jaguar respectively. Communication and technologyproviders such as Vodaphone and Huawei supported the telecommunicationintegration with Siemens working closely with Highways England on theinfrastructure side and with Jaguar and Land Rover on the vehiclemanufacturer side. WMG supported the cybersecurity and business. CoventryUniversity supported two of the technical work packages (WP). A) In WP8 theCoventry University traffic psychology team worked closely with Visteon torealise in vehicles systems as well as an app to test advanced driverassistance features requiring vehicle to infrastructure and vehicle to vehiclecommunication capabilities. Coventry University: 1) led the design of signsillustrating the UKCITE app features 2)Evaluated the usability of the UKCITE appin the driving simulator and on road. 3)Assessed the impact of the app ondriving behaviour and drivers’ attitudes: 1st set of uses cases and variablespeed limits evaluation of the app and the design of symbols to providespecific driver information for ADAS features and replace the less specificwarning sign. The app was considered usable and accepted by theparticipants - Signs representing new features should be carefully designed toavoid any misinterpretation. - Additional critical in-vehicle warnings (e.g. EVW& EEBL) have the potential to positively impact safety. - In-vehicle gantry andVSL may better regulate traffic but also provoke disruption depending on thetechnology penetration rate. See attached PDF showing the poster design forthe final demo. B) In WP8 the Coventry University simulation team workedclosely with Horiba-MIRA to realise a digital twin of the UKCITE circuit. Thedigital twin was realised using a commercial traffic simulator and open sourcecommunication simulator. The developed simulation suite has run 1000s oftimes, producing data for a wide range of connected vehicle penetration ratesand traffic volumes, repeated for each use case and location. This data wasanalysed to give summaries for input into the WP10 Cost-benefit analysis. Theresults showed interesting patterns giving incite into how such use cases willbenefit driver safety and traffic flow. Overall the simulation work package:Developed a realistic baseline traffic models for UKCITE corridor. Developed a communication model to mirror UKCITE testing. Developed a driver behaviourmodels for use cases. Integrated models into an automated testing “suite”.Developed an automated simulation controller and data analysis tool.Coventry University focused on drivers response modelling to messagesbroadcasted in the vehicles and vehicle behaviour modelling to replicate theobservations from driver simulator studies and the scientific literature.Implemented models in C++ as DLL to supplement existing VISSIM vehicletypes. Implemented scenario in python. MATLAB was used for data analysis.

Key findings

The outcome was above expectation. Before UKCITE my research was mostly being focused on vehicle systems (from Coventry University perspective) or medical technology with some elements on intelligent transportation systems. UKCITE has highlighted the need to link traditional civil engineering work on traffic simulation with control, mechanical and electrical engineering work on vehicle systems. It has highlighted the need for increased collaboration between vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure and systems providers. This has led to some reorganisation of our internal research structure with the creation of a future cities research group working closely with our connected and autonomous vehicle group within the Institute of Future Transports and Cities. This future cities group combines expertise from civil engineers, control engineers, telecommunication engineers and software scientists interested in big data and natural languages as well as psychologists. The lack of signage for some of the warning systems and the lack of knowledge on how drivers will react to information has highlighted the need for better integration between engineers, human factors and traffic psychologists. I have moved from a traditional control engineer involved with vehicle powertrain, electrification and optimisation to a control engineer interested in traffic management and simulation for a connected environment. My background in medical technology has also highlighted the link between big data in the medical world as well as in transportation. Both face similar challenges and can learn from each other. UK CITE will be rolled into the Midlands Future Mobility project with other testbeds. Interested parties will be encouraged to use the infrastructure Transport For West Midlands (TfWM) has just closed an appeal to tender to support their simulation work to develop a world-leading traffic simulation model. The expertise gained in UKCITE will be exploited to support TfWM. The innovateUK UKCITE project was used as a leverage to secure other UK funding, a significant part of it in collaboration with Horiba-MIRA. This additional funding has enabled to make one of the UKCITE research assistant a permanent member of staff. This will support the driver simulation and human factor work for other commercial clients within the National Transport Design Centre in Coventry University. In addition, Coventry University and Horiba-MIRA have launched a series of 12 co-funded PhD research programmes. Two research programmes exploiting the simulation work done in UKCITE have been proposed and will be evaluated by a joint committee to identify if it can be funded in view to start in 2019. The modelling work carried out in UKCITE has been well received in the research community: the attached posters were viewed more than 3000 times on LinkedIn, and the work received positive feedback at conferences and at the ITS world congress. Other traffic simulation software vendors such as Aimsun have shown interest in the model developed by Coventry University and through their network, I have contacted other researchers with whom we have planned to set up a collaborative work programme to enable our students to work on connected vehicle and infrastructure projects between the University of Wolverhampton and Coventry University. Some of this work will involve adapting the C++ code and MATLAB code developed to work with VISSIM to work with Aimsun. Software with the ADAS features modelled for UKCITE will be available from Coventry University. The simulation work has been supported by Highways England in terms of providing access to MIDAS and Halogen data on traffic data for the M42. To date, only a portion of the M42 has been calibrated and it is essential to have access to similar data to support the model calibration work that is essential to obtain meaningful and trustworthy simulation results. It has been agreed to feed the modelling work done by Coventry University back to Highways England in view to generate impact in term of model reuse from Coventry University's perspective. This link with highways England and Siemens has enabled Coventry to do more than originally planned and investigate the current motorway traffic management and see how virtual gantries could be used to replace fixed gantries. This work is still in its infancy together with the coordination between motorway and urban traffic management. Whilst UKCITE simulation work focused on the driver and the vehicle, there is a need to focus on the overall infrastructure and traffic management able to exploit current vehicle mix as well as the expected increase in the number of connected and subsequently autonomous vehicles. Vehicle electrification and hybridisation as well as pollution due to vehicle emission and non-engine related emissions should be considered. There is a need to combine vehicle systems simulation with traffic simulation to evaluate the impact of new technology at scale. There is also a need to consider road maintenance in the overall planning of the UK road network for connected and autonomous vehicles. The main barrier to exploitation remains funding. Another is the standards that are still being developed. There is a significant shortage in terms of skills related to traffic simulation for the purpose of CAV and being able to do both civil engineering traffic simulation and mechanical/electrical engineering low-level vehicle simulation work. There is also a need to facilitate academic staff secondment to industry to improve knowledge exchange/exploitation. This project has had a significant impact and has contributed to gaining additional funding to 1) create the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Automotive Research (C-CAAR) that will pioneer and test new developments to support the rapid growth within the global intelligent mobility sector and address future transport needs. The centre is located on an existing site at the heart of MIRA Technology Park. 2) obtained additional fundings from Meridian and SBRI (subject to contract) The work has generated publications which will increase Coventry University's visibility. Some of the UKCITE partners, as well as other commercial organisations, have contacted our centre for research and consultancy work.
Short titleUK CITE
Effective start/end date1/06/1631/12/18


Application programs
Electrical engineering
Mechanical engineering
Cost benefit analysis
Alarm systems
Human engineering
Civil engineering
Railroad cars


  • Connected Vehicles
  • CACC
  • EEBL