November 2018


Wellesbourne research centre will bring huge boost to Warwickshire's economy

"This is a huge boost to the local economy and employment opportunities and further proof that Warwickshire is on the map for major high-tech companies looking to develop their businesses."

Europe’s first multi-million-pound Smart City Mobility Centre, based at the University of Warwick's Wellesbourne campus, will bring a "huge boost to the local economy" - and assure Warwickshire's place at the heart of the UK high-tech sector far into the future.

A partnership of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has chosen the University of Warwick's site in Wellesbourne for the Research and Development of its Smart City Mobility Centre.

The centre, combining the research expertise of WMG with JLR's engineering ability, will prototype structures that will enable driverless cars and revolutionise transport in the UK. Further work will be undertaken at the University of Warwick's campus where driverless vehicles will be tested.

Warwickshire County Council's deputy leader Cllr Peter Butlin said: "Everyone in Warwickshire should delight in this wonderful news. It will give a huge boost to the local economy and employment opportunities and is further proof that Warwickshire is on the map for major high-tech companies looking to develop their businesses.

"The local universities provide a wealth of talent and we, at the council, are working hard to align business requirement with a workforce that has the skills to match.

"It is also very encouraging for Warwickshire that such high-profile, high-tech enterprises are starting up or expanding here. Everybody at Warwickshire County Council wishes the new centre at Wellesbourne the very best with its work."

Researchers from WMG and JLR will work together at Wellesbourne to design and engineer vehicles which will be tested in real world conditions alongside a specially designed 5G communications network on the University of Warwick’s main campus.

As the centre develops, it is expected to play a significant role in transforming the future of UK transport. The new Smart City Mobility Centre will also draw on:

  • Expertise in battery technology which will be developed by the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre which will also be located in Coventry and Warwickshire
  • The new £20million UK Mobility Data Institute, to be established by WMG in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to collect, process and analyse transport data generated by the advent of new mobility technologies such as driverless capable vehicles and smart charging of electrified vehicles.
  • The WMCA development of a multi-city 5G test bed.

Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Professor Dr Ralf Speth said: Jaguar Land Rover welcomes the centre, based at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, which builds on collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, WMG, the University of Warwick and government to develop 5G connectivity in the region. This is critical for new mobility solutions and services that will transform customer experiences in the future and make congestion, traffic accidents and emissions a thing of the past.

“We look forward to this industry-leading project which will develop future prototypes that put the UK at the forefront of automotive technology.”

WMG chairman Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said: “This is the first time in any country that such a comprehensive system is being designed and tested. This will help integrate plans for transport systems for the future that have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to transform and improve the lives of a great many people who could benefit from even safer, less congested, and more environmentally sustainable transport.”



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