How does FLOURISH support the Industrial Strategy?

In November 2017, the Government released the much-anticipated Industrial Strategy. This included the introduction of four Grand Challenges, designed to put the UK at the forefront of future industries and markets:

  1. AI and Data Economy - We will put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution.

  2. Clean Growth - We will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.

  3. Future of Mobility - We will become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.

  4. Ageing Society - We will harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.

As part of the ‘Future of Mobility’ Grand Challenge, the Government focuses on the development and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles; an aim that is inherently supported by the FLOURISH project. In particular, the Government would like to see fully self-driving cars on UK roads by 2021. To achieve this, a significant amount of research will be required into how connected and autonomous vehicles should be deployed. Within FLOURISH, vehicle-level and network-level rules engines are being created, which can be used to inform future deployment strategies in the UK. Moreover, the communications required for connected and autonomous vehicles to operate safely and reliably are being tested through the distribution of base stations in the Bristol area. The knowledge gained from this can be utilised in the upcoming “5G Testbeds and Trials programme of 5G applications and deployment on roads”, as highlighted in the Industrial Strategy.

Alongside this, the Industrial Strategy explains that a project will be conducted by the Law Commission to “set out proposals for a long-term regulatory framework for self-driving vehicles”. Through the work conducted by FLOURISH, AXA and Burges Salmon are working together to publish several legal and insurance reports. The first of these reports considered the relationship between cyber security and CAV technology, and is publicly available on the FLOURISH website. The insight gained from these reports will support the development of the Government’s proposed regulatory framework.

FLOURISH is also supporting the ‘AI and Data Economy’ Grand Challenge through the development of data fusion/AI units that work in conjunction with the rules engines. This involves developing real-time data fusion, analysis and control software, which is being deployed to control a pod for real-world testing. This will assist the UK in developing AI capabilities and helps to position the UK at the forefront of this sector.

The third Grand Challenge supported by FLOURISH is ‘Ageing Society’. Empowerment is at the heart of FLOURISH’s objectives, approach and desired outcomes, with a focus on the ageing society. We understand that the need to remain mobile and to travel is closely related to a person’s psychological well-being, and a reduction in mobility can lead to an increase in isolation, loneliness and depression. Therefore, FLOURISH is focusing on the elderly and those with assisted living needs to ensure the requirements of these two groups shape the outcomes of the project. To achieve this a user-centred, inclusive design process is being followed.

Moreover, by ensuring that these user groups are mobile, they will be able to remain independent and active in society, supporting the wider economy. This is recognised in the Industrial Strategy, and the Government state that they will “support new products and services for the growing global population of older people [such as those in FLOURISH], meeting important social needs and realising the business opportunity for the UK”.

As well as addressing these Grand Challenges, the Government aims to “agree Local Industrial Strategies that build on local strengths and deliver on economic opportunities”. FLOURISH is supporting the West of England as a centre of CAV expertise, building an ecosystem of innovation in the region and creating opportunities for investment. FLOURISH also aligns with the strategic goals of the West of England Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership, which look to achieve sustainable and skilled jobs, improved productivity and economic growth to achieve prosperity.

FLOURISH involves “a fusion of technologies” that combine the physical and digital worlds, directly reflecting the words used to describe the Industrial Strategy. Through supporting many of the aims and aspirations of the Industrial Strategy, FLOURISH is helping to place the UK at the forefront of future industries and markets.

Authored by: Aston Brand, Atkins

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