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General information
United Kingdom Atkins
From 2015-07 to 2018-06 In progress
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VENTURER brings together a rich partnership of public, private and academic experts in order to establish the South West, UK as a world class test site facility for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (AV). VENTURER will focus on the people as well as the technology side of the trials and understand the blockers and drivers to wide scale adoption of AV capability.

The trials will go hand in hand with developing an understanding of the insurance and legal implications of increased vehicle autonomy. VENTURER will also establish a realistic simulation environment.


One of the aims of the project is to examine and work with level 3 of automation. This is where the vehicle is autonomous, but the driver must be able to intervene in situations the car is not capable of dealing with. Testing of the autonomous vehicle, the BAE Systems Wildcat on private and public roads is due to begin in early 2016.

The project has a wide range of technical and social research objectives, which include:

  • To prepare the vehicle and associated technology for trials
  • To develop a simulator to examine driver responses to automation technology
  • To examine the legal and insurance frameworks required to enable driverless operation on UK roads
  • To explore the public perceptions and the potential societal impacts of autonomous vehicles.


The project aims to run tests of sensor equipment and communications as well as tackle issues related to cybersecurity, insurance and liability. In addition, it wishes to explore public reaction to autonomous vehicles.

The project is focused with the end in mind i.e. the behaviors that will drive adoption and the insurance and legislative perspectives that must be developed in order to facilitate successful deployment on the roads. In addition, the project will look to exploit UK leading wireless technology as part of the sensor fusion and in parallel develop a virtual as well as a physical test capability.

The first tests will take place at the University of West of England campus during 2016. Further testing will then take place in South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Centre during 2017 and 2018.

Related Projects

Autodrive, Gateway


Led by Atkins , Further partners: University of West England, University of Bristol, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, First Bus, Williams Advanced Engineering, AXA UK, BAE Systems, Fusion Processing; Supporting partner: Burges Salmon


The trial is co-funded by Innovate UK


Insurance; liability; cybersecurity; public reaction; demonstration