Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

L3Pilot launched: piloting automated driving on European roads

L3Pilot launched: ITS team involved in understanding the human factors, challenges and opportunities of automated vehicles

The European project L3Pilot was launched on 13 September in Wolfsburg, home to the project coordinator Volkswagen.

Focusing on large-scale piloting of SAE Level 3 functions, the project brings 1,000 test drivers and 100 vehicles to the roads in 11 European countries. This makes L3Pilot one of the widest reaching projects in Europe.

The Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) is involved in the project. It is the only UK institution looking at the human element of automated driving regarding its viability as a safe and efficient means of transportation. 

Professor Natasha Merat, Chair in Human Factors of Transport Systems at ITS, is the principal investigator for the project at the University of Leeds. She will be working alongside Dr Daryl Hibberd and Dr Tyron Louw from the Human Factors and Safety ITS research group.

The ITS team are responsible for defining the methodologies and research questions to be used when testing the vehicles on the roads. This will form a crucial part of evaluating the project. Their main focus is on understanding the human factors, challenges and opportunities of automated vehicles.

At the last ITS European Congress in June, the European Commission awarded almost €36 million to the Project.

During the First European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving, Commissioner Moedas said:

“This project is huge, bringing together: car manufacturers, research institutes, insurance suppliers, universities and others. It will really show Europe’s readiness for the technology! And where the gaps are that need to be filled.”

The European Commission places a high priority on the deployment of automated road transport. Its projects ensure that these technologies are deployed in a coordinated and harmonised manner, which will accelerate the implementation of safe and connected automated driving in Europe.

The L3Pilot project is co-funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme, and is supported by the European Council for Automotive R&D.

Further information on the L3Pilot project.