Meridian, the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, was officially launched at LCV2017 with the aim of supporting further innovation in the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV).
Meridian will bring together established UK-leading start-ups, OEMs and SMEs from a number of industries to encourage cross-sector collaboration – including, Artificial Intelligence, Insurance, Legal, Telecommunications, Gaming, Mobility and the Financial Services Sectors – to pitch their CAV innovations and visions in exchange for technical and financial support.
By bringing together these different industries, Meridian – which is a partnership between CCAV, Automotive Council and Advanced Propulsion Centre – will create one of the world’s most efficient CAV communities that will aim to bridge any gaps in supply chain and elevate the UK’s strengths in CAV testing and development. This will help to enable the UK to become globally competitive and attract further foreign direct investment.
“In order for CAVs to be fully adopted they need to function seamlessly on all roads. Meridian will focus on integrating and connecting these vehicles with complex environments in the UK and around the world. For this to happen we need all industries, and government, to work together on the same technologies and the same standards. For this to happen collaboration is key.” Said Jim Campbell, Launch Director, Meridian.
“Meridian will give the UK the power to innovate CAV technology faster and more decisively than ever before, creating a test bed of facilities throughout the UK. This UK-wide operation will enable the UK to become globally competitive in CAV technology and open up new opportunities in the supply chain.”
Climate Change and Industry Minister, Claire Perry, said: “At the heart of our Industrial Strategy is a commitment to delivering world-class science, research and innovation. The Meridian co-ordination hub embodies this ambition, creating a globally recognisable brand that will bring the automotive sector, academia and Government together behind a common set of strategic goals.
“A report we are publishing today predicts that by 2035 the global market for CAV technologies will be worth £907 billion, and through Government investment and collaboration with industry in this area we will ensure that the UK becomes one of the global ‘go to’ destinations for the development of this technology.”
Over the last few years the UK Government has invested in a number of initiatives for the development of CAV technology. Meridian will leverage the UK’s existing test facilities, including proving grounds, the already established connected public corridor and complementing previous initiatives and programmes – helping to position the UK as a genuine world-leader in the development of CAV technology.
In addition to strengthening existing capabilities and creating new ones, Meridian will create its own Spoke Network – a community of the UK’s leading academic institutions – set up to share best practice between academia and industry.
“The Spokes will be established within the agreed geographic boundaries across the UK,” said Campbell. “They will boost innovation, job creation and productivity through cross-sector collaboration, ensuring easy access to the CAV supply chain for SMEs and start-ups from a range of industries.”