In its 2013 Autumn Budget statement, the UK government introduced measures to encourage the development of self-driving cars in the UK. In July 2014, the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, launched the "Introducing driverless cars to UK roads" competition. UK Autodrive was one of three projects awarded funding. This project brought together leading automotive companies, academic institutions, legislators, insurers, and other stakeholders in a three-year trial of self-driving vehicles and connected car technologies, establishing the UK as a global hub for the research, development, and integration of self-driving vehicles and associated technologies.
As part of UK Autodrive, Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) developed autonomous driving software and deployed it in a Tata Hexa SUV equipped with off-the-shelf drive-by-wire hardware. A small team of engineers from TMETC developed the sensor perception, motion planning, and vehicle control algorithms. Model-Based Design with MATLAB® and Simulink® enabled this team to move quickly from design on paper to simulations and then to running on an embedded ECU in the vehicle.
“With Simulink, we could concentrate on the high-level design implementation rather than low-level coding,” says Dr. Mark Tucker, Lead Engineer at TMETC. “This was important to us, as delivering a functional vehicle was our goal, not demonstrating our coding skills.”