The Road to the Autonomous Vehicle

Brought to you by The Automotive & Transport Group

The self-driving/autonomous vehicle whether used for public transport, the private car or goods transportation, perhaps represents the pinnacle of near term transport technology.

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About the event

Proponents cite improved safety, stress free and faster journeys whilst opponents raise security concerns, the ‘fitness for purpose’ and the legal issues created. Achieving a fully autonomous vehicle will not be by some ‘big bang’ step change, but rather a series of smaller steps over a period of years – each step bringing tangible benefits and solving some of the plethora of challenges that autonomous vehicles present.

Following on from the inaugural event in May, join us for this half day event kindly hosted by Silverstone Park in association with MEPC and sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz which will focus on ‘the road to the autonomous vehicle’ with industry experts discussing the complex technical, commercial and regulatory challenges towards that fully autonomous vehicle. 

Indeed we are already on the journey – connected cars, forward and rear looking radar, person detection analytics, 360 degree on-board cameras, intelligent connected SatNav and predictive journey time software – these are all in use today and will form part of the autonomous vehicle systems of tomorrow.  The challenge ahead is to improve and link together these sub-systems so that they work flawlessly and safely as one.  This second Automotive and Transport SIG event will focus on some of the individual challenges of the sub-systems that need to come together including:

  • Navigation and location – to deliver you to where you’re going and ensure the vehicle knows what’s around it
  • Wireless connectivity – vehicles will connect to each other, fixed traffic management infrastructures and communication networks for multiples purposes
  • Big Data Analytics – how to make best use of the masses of data that will be collected to manage journey times, minimise fuel consumption and maximise road space use
  • Security – what new threats do autonomous vehicle systems present and how do we keep the ‘bad guys’ at bay?
  • Legal – so whose fault is it?  If your self-parking car damages another car whilst you are shopping – who’s responsible?  What is the new legal framework when the machines are in control?

Our speakers are:

To follow this SIG on Twitter, @cambwireless, please use #CWTransport

The Automotive & Transport SIG is championed by Andrew Ashby of Plextek Consulting, Tom Blackie of RealVNC, John Okas of Real Wireless and Nigel Wall of Climate Associates.

Sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz

Rohde & Schwarz is one of the world's leading manufacturers of information and communications technology products for professional users.

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration and networking over lunch


Introduction to the Automotive & Transport SIG from John Okas, Real Wireless


Welcome from our hosts, Roz Bird, Commercial Director of MEPC, Silverstone Park and Neil Patterson of Silverstone UTC


RF Technologies in self-driving cars - why testing in real-world scenarios is so important; Christoph Wagner, Automotive Market Segment Manager, Rohde & Schwarz

On the way to self-driving cars different technologies like automotive radar and car2car communication will work hand-in-hand to make this dream come true. The use of multiple technologies will improve driving safety, but it also creates challenges for car designers and their suppliers. How can we ensure that all these technologies work together as expected?




The role of wireless network service providers in delivering the benefits of autonomous vehicles; Paul Copping, Smart City Consultant, Digital Greenwich

The most significant economic benefits of autonomous vehicles (including on demand services, close following, smart parking and route selection) are derived from enabling wireless applications. What risks and rewards will be attributable to the wireless networks service provider? What are the implications for
service level agreements, cyber security, regulation and insurance?




Vulnerabilities in positioning systems; Bob Cockshott, PNT Lead, Knowledge Transfer Network

Autonomous vehicles hold enormous promise, but depend on robust position, navigation and timing systems. These can have serious vulnerabilities which may not be severe in advisory systems such as GPS-based turn-by-turn navigation, but could be catastrophic in safety-critical systems. For example, cheap and powerful GPS jammers are readily available and are known to be in use in vehicles. This talk highlights some of the weaknesses and possible mitigation strategies.




How cloud-based systems and machine-driven big data can contribute to the development of autonomous vehicles; David Fidalgo, Senior Business Development Manager, Altran

Autonomous vehicles are one of the biggest trends in the Automotive industries these days; the race to provide the best systems and to achieve a market niche is forcing the OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to think of alternative ways to develop such systems faster. The main challenge they have is the storage and post-processing required to develop autonomous features. The utilisation of the cloud and the ability to develop post-processing algorithms to manage the data in real time prove a huge advantage in the development and validation of these features.




Refreshments & Networking


Securing V2X; Paul Martin, Chief Technology Officer, Plextek Consulting




Autonomous vehicles - the legal crossroads where technology intersects with the law; Peter Lee, Solicitor and Rhys Williams, Partner, Taylor Vinters

Greater adoption of autonomous vehicles will bring with it significant legal challenges on a national and
international basis. Understanding how both criminal and civil law will and should apply to driverless cars
is a key element to ensuring the early and successful adoption of the underlying technology.




Panel Session with all speakers, chaired by SIG Champion, Tom Blackie, RealVNC


Closing Remarks


Event Closes


Bob Cockshott - Quantum Lead, PNT Lead, The KTN

After 25 years in the space industry working mainly on electro-optical payloads, Bob has spent the last 13 years in the government-funded Knowledge Transfer Network, supporting business in position, navigation and timing, and more recently also quantum technology. Bob has taken a special interest in GNSS vulnerability, and has organised international conferences on vulnerability and its mitigation. Bob is a member of the Cabinet Office PNT Technical Group and chairs the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Technical Committee. Bob is a member of the International Time and Sync Forum Steering Group and is also a Cambridge Wireless Location Based Services SIG Champion.

Paul Copping - CTO, Fawley Waterside, CEO, Maxathon Ltd

Paul Copping is CTO at Fawley Waterside, a new build £1B+ smart city development in the Solent which will form an international merchant city, see  He is also Vice President Corporate Development at Sightline Innovation Inc of Toronto, with a focus on data trusts and privacy.  He is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group AI Task Force on Data Governance.  Paul was previously Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Greenwich (2014-2018) while chairing an Industry Specification Group at ETSI called City Digital Profile.   His earlier career includes leadership roles in telecoms (Nortel, BT) and transport (TRL).

David Fidalgo - CEO, Rhyzome Networks

David Fidalgo (Rhyzome Networks)

Peter Lee - Solicitor, Taylor Vinters LLP

Paul Martin - Partner, PA Consulting Group

Christoph Wagner

SIG Champions

Andre Burgess - Strategic Business Development, Digital, National Physical Laboratory

NPL’s nominated SIG Champion, Andre Burgess runs Strategic partnerships for the Digital Sector at NPL where he is also leading on its activities in CAV R&D as well as the development of new testing infrastructure for future integrated communications networks.  Andre has a long experience in product and service innovation in the TMT sector, including NTL (now Virgin Media) and Three.  He subsequently established a successful business designing and deploying disruptive digital end user products and services.  More recently he turned his focus on the energy and environment sector, working with distributed generators, housing providers and local authorities, to develop innovative data centric services to optimise localised energy generation and affordable smart home services.  With a mission to ensure data can be trusted and shared openly in the future, he joined NPL in 2017.

Tom Jellicoe - Autonomous Driving Lead, TTP plc

Dr. Tom Jellicoe leads the autonomous driving team at TTP, Europe’s largest independent deep tech consultancy. TTP work with ambitious clients to invent, design and develop disruptive products based on advances in science and engineering. Tom’s team develop enabling technologies for the sensors on autonomous vehicles include lidar, vision systems and thermal cameras. Tom has a Ph.D. in Optoelectronics from the University of Cambridge.

John Okas - CCO, Real Wireless

John has worked in wireless and telecommunications throughout his career. Initially with Motorola and Racal in engineering and product marketing roles. He was a founding director of NTL (now Arqiva), initially as Business Development Director building and managing the complete commercial organisation. He also managed the R&D Group which developed one of the first commercially available MPEG video compression systems. Then as Managing Director - Telecommunications he was responsible for growing NTL's wireless business and entering the fixed telecommunications and satellite services markets. Moving to Pell Frischmann the consulting engineers, he started a telecommunications business and was involved in several large transportation projects including the Highways Agency's NRTS Project which updated the motorway communication systems. Currently he operates as an independent consultant covering technical, commercial and product strategies. He works with other consultancies including Real Wireless, the independent wireless experts, who develop strategy, policy and practical solutions. John has a close interest in the IoT/M2M market within the transport sector; he worked with the Weightless SIG at its formation to help identify market requirements.

Tom Robinson - Technical Director, Conigital

Tom has a background in software engineering and worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years, during this time Tom has held responsibility for business units at several world leading automotive consultancies including Pi Technology, Ricardo and Applus IDIADA.

For 6 years Tom supported InnovITS (UK Centre of Excellence for Tranport Telematics and Sustainable Mobility) as a non-executive director to help promote the establishment of UK ITS capability. He has championed and directed a number of innovation programmes in the ITS including the Innovate UK MuCCA, EU SARTRE, InnovITS FaCITS, and TSB ERTOC projects. Tom is currently working at Conigital Ltd as an Associate Director helping drive the future towards CAV.

Nigel Wall - Director, Climate Associates

Nigel has been involved with connected vehicle research since 1992 when he led BT’s mobile data research team – initially using modems on first generation analogue TACS mobile phones! Since 2001 he has worked an independent complex-systems engineer, with a primary specialism in connected vehicles. For the last seven years he has acted as the Monitoring Officer for twelve of the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle research projects supported by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. These projects included Gateway, Venturer, UK Autodrive, MOVE UK, INSIGHT, Flourish and UK Cite. During this period he has not offered CAV-related consultancy services to other companies to avoid any potential conflict of interest. As these Innovate UK projects have now completed, he is now returning to offer traditional consultancy services to organisations that need to pragmatic advice on developing market share in this exciting market.

Event Location

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Location info

Silverstone Park, Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire NN12 8GX

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