The initial round of funding is part of the £100m UK CAV test bed competitive fund and is the first investment by government and industry through Meridian to develop a coordinated national platform of CAV testing infrastructure.

The consortium comprises world leading expertise from across the transport and technology sectors including TRL, DG Cities, Cisco, Cubic, Loughborough University, Transport for London and the London Legacy Development Corporation. Delivery partners include Millbrook Proving Ground and the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.

The ambitious project will see the creation of a Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in London, based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The Smart Mobility Living Lab: London will provide a real-world urban test bed in a complex public environment, capable of demonstrating and evaluating the use, performance and benefits of CAV technology and mobility services in an accessible and globally recognisable context.

The Living Lab will be designed to operate as an open innovation environment where innovators in the automotive sector, transport service and technology providers, SMEs, local and central government and research bodies, can come together to exchange ideas and develop technical and business solutions for the future development of smart mobility solutions.

Paul Zanelli, Director, Engineering & Technology at TRL explained: “Users of the SMLL will be able to collaboratively or independently test their ideas, technology and services in a real-world environment. This exciting project will see us working closely with industry to develop the evidence case for bringing new products and services to market, and with local and national governments to address the challenges and opportunities of future mobility. This will ensure we gain the benefits and minimise the pain of change.

“At the heart of the Living Lab will be continuous engagement with the public, to help facilitate a greater understanding of the implications of autonomous technology and enable them to have their say during this huge transition in urban mobility.”

Located in Europe’s only mega-city, London, the SMLL will have access to a critical mass of entrepreneurial talent in all the relevant sectors, from science and engineering to digital, media, insurance and the financial markets.

Rob Wallis, CEO, TRL commented: “For TRL and its consortium partners, the SMLL provides a unique facility to respond to the rapidly evolving and challenging developments in new mobility solutions.

“This UK Government funding, complemented by industry investment, establishes an integrated eco-system of real-world CAV testing capability, positioning the UK as a leader in CAV technologies and mobility services worldwide.

“TRL, supported by its partners, is delighted to be leading the SMLL, which will attract global investment, create UK jobs and strengthen the UK economy, while delivering a range of societal benefits for everyone.”

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark added:  “Combining ambitious new technologies and innovative business models to address social and economic challenges lies at the heart of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. Accelerating connected and autonomous vehicle technology development is central to achieving this ambition and will help to ensure the UK is one of the world’s go-to locations to develop this sector.

“These projects, backed by Government, form part of a globally unique cluster running from our automotive heartlands in the West Midlands, down through our innovation centres in Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes, through to London, Europe's only megacity.”

The SMLL adds to TRL’s growing programme of innovation into future transport and mobility solutions, focused on (i) highly-automated, self-driving vehicles, (ii) intelligent, connected infrastructure and vehicles, (iii) low carbon technologies and electrification and (iv) shared mobility services. Today TRL, together with its partners, has an active portfolio of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility projects totalling in excess of £70m. These include the recently awarded UK HGV platooning project, GATEway, MOVE_UK, Atlas, Driven, Streetwise, Merge Greenwich and DRAGON.

Supporting quotes:

Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said: “It’s important that we support and learn from innovation that could improve transport across London. Autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to significantly change travel - that’s why we are working closely on this project to ensure the development of these types of vehicles is safe, environmentally-friendly and benefits the city, complementing our focus on walking, cycling and green public transport.”

Jennifer Daothong, Head of Strategy and Sustainability at the London Legacy Development Corporation, responsible for the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “Working in partnership with London’s clean-tech industry, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is rapidly becoming a world-leading test bed for trialling new and innovative approaches to our future transport needs. We are delighted to be working with world-leading companies to provide the first of many opportunities for Londoners to experience this ground breaking technology for themselves.”

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “I am delighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been chosen as the location for one of the UK test-beds for connected and autonomous vehicles, and will be home to the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London. This important initiative will further consolidate Greenwich, London and the UK’s pre-eminence in the development and application of connected and autonomous vehicle technology. It builds on our success in establishing the Royal Borough of Greenwich as a leader in smart city innovation and our work to identify the opportunities that technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles can bring, how cities will need to adapt, and our determination to put city authorities at the heart of the innovation debate.”

Scot Gardner, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles will be the future, but at the moment they are a future that still requires exploration. The partners in this project have the right experience to truly understand what is needed in the real world. As technology and delivery lead, we are delighted to be part of what we believe will help establish the UK as a global innovator in this space.”

Professor Steve Rothberg, Loughborough University, said: “Being part of the SMLL initiative builds on our world-class research in automotive engineering and we are excited by the opportunity to develop the CAV technologies that will revolutionise how we travel. We welcome the chance to drive forward this significant agenda from our London campus.”

Alex Burns, President, Millbrook Group said: “We are proud to be a delivery partner for the Living Lab project, helping to bring a multi-user operating model out of the controlled test track into the public environment.”

Rahim Tafazolli, Founder/Director of the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre said: “SMLL is a fantastic facility for development, testing and optimisation of 5G technologies for autonomous driving and connected vehicles. It will turn our advanced research conducted in the past few years into a real and operational system”.

For more information about the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London visit: www.SmartMobility.London



About TRL

TRL is the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility. It provides world-leading research, technology and software solutions for surface transport modes and related markets of automotive, motorsport, insurance and energy.

Independent from government, industry and academia, TRL helps organisations create global transport systems that are safe, clean, affordable, liveable and efficient. Core areas of expertise include transport safety; vehicle engineering & simulation; investigations & major incident forensics; human factors & behavioural science; intelligent transport systems; infrastructure asset management; and sustainability & climate change.

Established in 1933 within the British Government as the UK's transport research laboratory, TRL was subsequently privatised in 1996. Today, TRL has more than 1,000 clients across 145 countries, driving positive societal and economic benefit worldwide. More information can be found at

About Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Capital's public transport network, managing London's main roads and planning and building new infrastructure.

TfL is providing access to real-time Traffic data for connected vehicles, giving traffic signal timings to allow vehicles to move efficiently through the network. TfL is also providing strategic advice on city compatibility and ensuring trials align with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

About Cisco

As lead technology and delivery partner, Cisco will initially manage the build phase of the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London - including installation of roadside and back office IT infrastructure for test routes, provision of data platforms and in creating an innovation and experience centre for the initiative.

Today’s announcement is the latest example of Cisco’s commitment to support digitisation in the UK. Cisco’s digitisation strategy is a long-term partnership with government, industry and academia to deliver real outcomes faster and more effectively for the country. It is part of Cisco’s global commitment to accelerating digitisation of countries around the world. For further examples, please visit the Cisco Newsroom.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

About Loughborough University

Loughborough University is renowned for the breadth and quality of its vehicle and transport research – leading the way in many aspects of the low carbon, transport safety and autonomous vehicle agendas.

The University’s current transport-related research portfolio totals £90 million, and amongst its accolades are seven prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, in recognition of world-class research excellence.

It enjoys long-standing industrial partnerships and works closely with some of industry’s key organisations including Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan.

About Cubic Corporation

Cubic Corporation designs, integrates and operates systems, products and services focused in the transportation, defense training and secure communications markets. Cubic Transportation Systems is a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services to create intelligent travel solutions for transportation authorities and operators. Cubic Global Defense is a leading provider of live, virtual, constructive and game-based training solutions, special operations and intelligence for the U.S. and allied forces. Cubic Mission Solutions provides networked Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities for defense, intelligence, security and commercial missions. For more information about Cubic, please visit the company's website at or on Twitter @CubicCorp.

About DG Cities

DG Cities Ltd is the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is actively engaged in facilitating a number of high profile connected and autonomous vehicles trials, and in helping identify the opportunities for cities, and how cities need to respond.  It actively supports Greenwich Council’s work on smart city innovation, enabling the Council, one of the UK’s leaders in smart city innovation, to work flexibly with business, universities and innovators on research and development.   It also works with other cities and businesses, in the UK & internationally to develop and pilot new ‘smart city’ technologies and approaches.  

DG Cities Ltd offers a broad mix of skills in smart city strategies, urban innovation, economics & business development, sustainability, the modern built environment, and technology management. Its focus areas are in the disciplines which support smart city innovation, including:

– the economics of the digital economy

– smart mobility and autonomous transport

– sustainable spatial development and integrated planning

– citizen facing services and government as a platform

– urban energy systems

– multi-city collaboration and procurement

DG Cities will work closely with TRL to facilitate & manage and the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London. DG Cities will provide insights and expertise on the integration of future transport services into a smart city environment, in a way that is compatible with the needs of the city, its residents and businesses. DG Cities is also leading work on setting up the physical test bed facilities including the operations centres and the garaging and vehicle facilities at both sites.

About the London Legacy Development Corporation

The London Legacy Development Corporation is a Mayoral Development Corporation with responsibility for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding areas. At the heart of east London, the Park is a new place to live, work, visit and inspire and has rapidly established itself as an area of innovation and collaboration. Through its recognition as a Smart Sustainable District, the ambition is to demonstrate that it is possible to use technology and integrated approaches to innovate and support the operation of resource efficient, low carbon, connected and future-ready places.

About Millbrook

Millbrook is the leading independent vehicle test and validation services provider operating a number of proving grounds. It will be supporting the logistics and operation of the Living Lab.

About the 5G Innovation Centre

The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey is the largest UK academic research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications.

The 5GIC brings together leading academics and key industry partners in a shared vision to help define and develop the 5G infrastructure that will underpin the way we communicate, work and live our everyday lives in the future. The 5GIC will drive the delivery of a mobile communications and wireless connectivity capable of meeting the needs of tomorrow’s connected society and digital economy.  

Part of the University’s Institute for Communication Systems, the 5GIC draws on Surrey’s internationally leading work and knowledge in mobile communications, Internet of Things (IoT), satellite communications and broadcasting, connected cars and future internet.



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