Disused railway tunnel to test self-driving vehicles

Jun 05 | 2024

A disused railway tunnel in Northamptonshire, UK, has become a world-leading test facility for self-driving vehicles.

Catesby TunnelThe 2.7km Catesby Tunnel has officially joined CAM Testbed UK, a global centre for the innovation and development of connected and self-driving vehicle technologies. The facility is believed to be the first of its kind.

Catesby Tunnel has ideal conditions for all kinds of vehicle testing, combining high levels of repeatability with reality. The temperature, pressure and humidity in the tunnel remain stable and there is no wind or rain. The tunnel’s extremely smooth surface ensures that data can be gathered with a high degree of confidence, allowing engineers to analyse the effects of tiny setup changes.

The hope is that this facility’s repeatability will prove extremely valuable to the testing of CAM (Connected and Automated Mobility) technologies. The tunnel is also radio insulated, meaning it can be made to be totally dark, providing the perfect space for testing new technology in traditionally difficult-to-navigate conditions.

The project is managed by Zenzic, the organisation set up by the UK government and industry to champion and grow the nation’s CAM ecosystem.  The organisation is aiming to cement the UK as a leading player in the global transport revolution.

Photo: Catesby Tunnel.