The Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL), a London-based connected test environment for future transport, has extended its Shared Research Programme (SRP), with international energy and services company, Centrica, becoming its fifth member. Centrica is joining the programme as part of its efforts to help accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles.

Jonathan Tudor, Director of Technology & Innovation Strategy for Centrica Innovations said: “We believe that the tipping point for EV adoption vs petrol and diesel cars is only a handful of years away, so we’re excited to be supporting the SMLL as we continue to progress new solutions and partnerships in support of the emerging electric vehicle market.”

Led by TRL, in partnership with Cisco, Cubic, DG Cities, Loughborough University, TFL and the London Legacy Corporation, SMLL brings together technology, public infrastructure and transport experts to build a London-based testbed for connected and autonomous (CAVs). Recent SMLL research found that almost two-thirds (65%) of senior industry leaders are confident that CAVs will be made available for use on UK roads in the next five years.  

To deliver on this mandate, the SRP, led by TRL and DG Cities, is designed to enable members to explore the evolving technologies and business models that will underpin the future of mobility. By deepening sector expertise and using the SMLL testbed facility, the SRP enables organisations to undertake research, trial technologies and test the commercial viability of CAVs.

The SMLL testbed will be located at the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offering a uniquely complex urban setting for customers.

Centrica is the latest addition to the SRP, a three-year research programme that brings together companies with complementary areas of expertise, including its Founder Members Aviva, BP, Hastings Direct and Honda R&D Europe. Ultimately, SRP members will use the learnings gathered in the SMLL testbed to explore, test and validate future mobility solutions.

Paul Zanelli, TRL’s Director of Strategic Ventures, referring to the expansion of the programme said “The membership of Centrica is a very welcome development. It increases our span across the four pillars of infrastructure, housing, consumers, and mobility, to help cement our position as a city-based urban test bed for validating complex mobility challenges.”

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