Watch our webinar here

The Multi Car Collision Avoidance (MuCCA) Research & Development project final showcase webinar took place on the 19th March 2020. The recording includes presentations from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the MuCCA consortium including, Applus Idiada, Connected Places Catapult, Cosworth Electronics, SBD Automotive, Cranfield University and Westfield Sportscars. The webinar also showcased the first view of the final demonstration video. Finally the webinar finished with a Q&A to the consortium from the audience.


If you missed the webinar or would like to review it again please click here.

Connected vehicle project could end motorway pileups


A pioneering project has developed technology that could radically reduce the number of multi-vehicle collisions on motorways. The Multi-Car Collision Avoidance (MuCCA) research and development project, has used artificial intelligence (AI) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications to instruct autonomous vehicles to cooperatively make decisions to avoid potential incidents.


The project, funded by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), and delivered by a consortium led by Applus IDIADA with Cranfield University, Westfield Sports Cars, Cosworth, SBD Automotive and Connected Places Catapult, has seen MuCCA equipped vehicles successfully complete replicas of real-life UK motorway scenarios on test tracks. When the technology in the vehicles detects an incident, the cars share information by radio links, and the on-board computers calculate the best manoeuvres to avoid the obstacles and then safely steer the agreed path to avoid an accident. The MuCCA equipped vehicles also avoid each other and remove the need to brake suddenly – which may have caused vehicles behind to drive into them.


Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are expected to become increasingly common on our roads within the next 10 years, there will however be many non-autonomous ‘human driven’ vehicles that will remain for the foreseeable future. In this near future scenario, MuCCA equipped vehicles could take on the added complexity of anticipating the likely behaviour of any human drivers in the vicinity of an incident.


Although the UK has some of the safest roads in the world, around 4,500 accidents still happen on UK motorways each year, contributing to 1,700 annual deaths and over 22,000 serious injuries[1]. Incidents on the motorway network also cause delays and congestions which can have a serious economic impact on UK businesses, costing around £8 billion a year according to estimates. MuCCA technology has the potential to significantly reduce these.


Rachel Maclean MP, Minister of Transport, Department of Transport said: “The potential of self-driving vehicle technology is unprecedented and could help to level up transport across the nation by making every day journeys greener, safer, more flexible and more reliable.

The MuCCA project is yet further proof of the UK leading the way in the safe and secure development of self-driving vehicle technology.”


Charlie Wartnaby, Technical Lead, Applus IDIADA UK said: The MuCCA project has delivered a world first, achieving collective collision avoidance behaviour between real cars, in a clear demonstration of fully automated cooperative control mediated by vehicle-to-vehicle radio. Combining connectivity and automated driving like this has applications beyond the valuable emergency role proven here to more general cooperative vehicle movement, promising enhanced safety and efficiency on our roads in future. This places the UK at the commercial forefront of driving technology that will benefit all of society.


Find out how we got on with our final demonstration here


Note to Editors


Cost of congestion to the UK can be found in the Inrix Traffic core card:

[1] DfT Annual Report 2018



Additional Quotes from MuCCA Consortium


Guillermo Tejera, Lead Project Manager and Senior Engineer, Applus IDIADA said:

“From concept definition to the final trials and demonstrations, the MuCCA project has successfully combined the joint effort of an outstanding consortium to develop a next-generation driver aid. After two and a half years of development and testing, a genuine concept that integrates the latest technologies has proven the principle of reducing car accidents using automated and leaderless cooperation between vehicles.”


Nicola Yates OBE, Connected Places Catapult CEO said:

“The MuCCA project has realised one of the most talked about aspects of connected and automated vehicle technology, safety. Connected Places Catapult is proud to have used our extensive experience with autonomous technology, to support the world leading consortium incorporating large organisations, SMEs and academia, to develop a ground-breaking system and establish the UK as a global leader of vehicle-to-vehicle connected safety solutions.”


Ross Walker, Research Fellow/Engineer in Autonomous Cars in the Signals and Autonomy Group in the Centre for Electronic Warfare Information and Cyber at Cranfield University, said:

“The scope of MuCCA is vital for safe future transportation systems and so we’re thrilled to be part of the project. The University is a pioneer in connected and autonomous vehicle engineering, and we were able to develop computer algorithms that help the cars to react in a more human-like way when avoiding collisions. This can allow any potential accidents to be recognised in advance, and consequently avoided before they have chance to begin developing.”


Icaro Bezerra-Viana, Research Fellow in Autonomous Cars in the Signals and Autonomy Group in the Centre for Electronic Warfare Information and Cyber at Cranfield University, said:

“Computer simulations enabled us to model how human drivers behave on motorways, and how the proximity of surrounding cars influences their behaviour. The movement of the cars that surround a vehicle over the next few seconds can then be predicted in order to avoid a collision. Being part of the MuCCA consortium and working with partners has enabled us to learn more technically and work together to find the most appropriate solutions.”


Tom Buckler, Managing Director, Cosworth Electronics said:

“We are proud to be a partner in the pioneering MuCCA project, which has provided the opportunity for Cosworth to extend our advanced electronics and data analytics technologies into the LiDAR and machine vision systems space for autonomous vehicles. It is great to see how the project has come together to lay out the roadmap for the future of mobility.”


Julian Turner, CEO, Westfield Sports Cars said:

‘The MuCCA project provides a unique perspective into the importance of emerging technologies, such as vehicle to vehicle communication, role in the future of Connected Autonomous Vehicles motorway deployments.’’


Luigi Bisbiglia, Business Development Manager, SBD Automotive said:

“In a project like MuCCA, it is important to think about the cyber threats. For example, how to prevent malicious spoofing interfering with vehicle controls, whilst allowing genuine co-operating “stranger” vehicles to influence control. SBD identified the “bad actors” who may have an interest in attacking V2X systems, and the elements of the system they might try to attack, allowing us to propose a number of cyber security features that will make the system more secure. As experts in connected and autonomous vehicles, our involvement in MuCCA allows us to further differentiate our services from the mass market of generic pen testing companies.


Consortium Partners Overview & Communications Contact 


Media Enquiries

Stephen Lynn
Connected Places Catapult

+44 7496 437907

Natasha Moore

Connected Places Catapult

+44 7741 165015


About Applus+ IDIADA

Applus IDIADA is a global partner to the automotive industry with over 30 years’ experience supporting its clients in product development activities by providing design, engineering, testing and homologation services. IDIADA’s success in product development is built on a unique blend of highly experienced engineers, state-of-the-art test and development facilities and the constant drive towards innovation. The company has more than 2.750 professionals and an international network of subsidiaries and branch offices in 24 countries, ensuring its clients receive customized added-value solutions.


About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. Cranfield has over 60 years’ experience in transport, including the aviation, automotive, motorsport, military and marine sectors. Our Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation is a £9 million ‘smart’ roadway test environment for the development of intelligent and autonomous vehicles, the first of its kind in the UK next to an airport and within the controlled setting of a university campus. It includes the associated systems needed to integrate emerging technologies into our day-to-day lives. Cranfield University is working at the forefront of research and teaching in motorsport, automotive engineering and mechatronics. Courses include the Automotive Mechatronics MSc, the Automotive Engineering MSc, and the new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (Automotive) MSc.



About Connected Places Catapult

The Connected Places Catapult accelerates smarter living and travelling in and between the places of tomorrow. We focus on growing businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. The Connected Places Catapult operates at the intersection between public and private sectors and between local government and transport authorities. We convene the disparate parts of the market to help innovators navigate the complexity of doing business, creating new commercial opportunities and improving productivity, socio-economic and environmental benefits for places. Visit for more information.


About Cosworth

Cosworth has used the rigours of motorsport to transform itself into a growing and profitable Tier 1 supplier to automotive manufacturers. The company’s unparalleled capabilities in powertrain and performance electronics have been honed from six decades at the very pinnacle of automotive engineering. In response to the significant advances in the automotive and motorsport landscape, Cosworth has always sought to develop technologies to meet ever-evolving demands from its customers. Whether it is through propulsion, hybridisation, connectivity or automation technology, Cosworth is ready to solve the new challenges on the road, racetrack and in the air with the mobility solutions of the future.


About SBD Automotive

SBD Automotive is a global consultancy firm specialising in automotive technologies. For over 20 years, our independent research, insight, and consultancy has been helping vehicle manufacturers and their partners to create smarter, more secure, better connected, and increasingly autonomous cars.  Having built a reputation for robust data and expert advice, as well as an ability to attract and retain the industry’s most talented specialists, SBD Automotive recently received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – a much-coveted award for outstanding achievement by UK companies. If you would like to learn more, please visit


About Westfield

Westfield Technology Group is the UK’s leading autonomous vehicle provider. Globally we are known for our niche sports cars with over 20,000 sold worldwide. Westfield were the first niche vehicle company in the UK to obtain European Small Series Type Approval for its vehicles, processes and premises. The Westfield POD is the UK’s first fully autonomous vehicle for first mile – last mile transportation. The POD has been developed in conjunction with Heathrow Airport and utilises the base technology platform from the work completed by ULTra PRT (Personal Rapid Transit).


About CCAV

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles is a joint BEIS and DfT unit that seeks to keep the UK at the forefront of the development and deployment of connected and self-driving vehicles through policy development, regulatory reform and joint investment with industry into R&D and testing facilities.


About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government



MuCCA Case Study

MuCCA aims to develop a next-generation driver aid that will avoid (or reduce the consequences of) multi-car collisions on motorways. It consists of a six-member UK consortium working on a 30-month, £4.6m project, partly funded by Innovate UK.


Download Here.

[sdm-download id=”1829″ new_window=”1″ button_text=”Download PDF”]

Cars that talk and take decisive action will save lives on our motorwaysBy Andrew Green, Programme Manager, Transport Systems Catapult

In late 2019, a technology demonstration which only a few years ago would have been written off as impossible will take place. The MuCCA (Multi-Car Collision Avoidance) project, led by IDIADA UK and with financial support from Innovate UK, is developing a collaborative system that will enable connected and autonomous vehicles to avoid collisions. MuCCA-equipped cars will communicate with each other in the fractions of a second before a potential crash – and agree and act upon the best course of evasive action for each individual vehicle to take.


Although connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are expected to become increasingly common on our roads in the next few years, many non-autonomous ‘human driven’ vehicles will remain for the foreseeable future, so the system will also take on the added complexity of anticipating the likely behaviour of any human drivers who are in the vicinity of the potential crash.


Given the fractions of a second in which the system will have to decide the optimal trajectories and in which the various vehicles will also have to execute the plan, this may all sound like science fiction. And, indeed, even those of us who are working on the project would be the first to admit that we are absolutely pushing at the limits of what is possible in terms of communication, processing power, and sensor capabilities.


This is an R&D project, so we do not expect that at the end of the project we will have a system that is ready to be put into production cars, but we are confident that we will end up with a “proof of concept” ­– as well as a much better understanding of what is currently possible, and where the biggest challenges lie in truly achieving a safety system with sufficient swarm-like capabilities.


Simplifying the scope

Making that clear distinction between a system that is ready for “real roads” and a technology that is being trialled in a highly-controlled environment has, in fact, been the main factor in helping to move the proposed MuCCA system from those realms of impossibility and into an area that is ‘merely’ extremely challenging.


A key early role played by my own organisation, the Transport Systems Catapult, was to define the exact parameters and scope of the project, using our expertise in Systems Engineering and our position as a not-for-profit “neutral player” in the Intelligent Mobility sector to help the other members of the MuCCA consortium decide what the project would involve and (just as importantly) what it would not involve.


This can be seen most clearly perhaps in the design of those test-track demonstrations in 2019. While based upon a typical motorway scenario – since motorway crashes tend to be the most damaging both in terms of fatalities and serious injuries as well as in congestion terms – the environment for the demos is being designed to incrementally explore any initial limitations of the system.


The tests will initially be conducted only in daylight and in reasonable weather conditions, with no curves or junctions on the sections of track being used. Experienced test drivers will also be used, to pre-position the cars in controlled positions and trajectories before handing them over to computer control. In addition, all the vehicles used will be cars of a similar type (provided by project partners Westfield Sportscars) – removing the added complexity of trucks, pedestrians, and other road-users, which a commercially ready system would obviously need to include. In summary, the plan for the test track trials is to begin with very simple scenarios and low vehicle speeds before progressing to more complex and higher speed trials as the system is proven capable.


MuCCA project sketch illustrating how cars (marked in amber and green) will move collaboratively to avoid a crashed or stationary vehicle (marked in red)


Complex simulations

While the involvement of expensive prototype vehicles in the test track trials (not to mention the human test drivers) places some understandable limitations on the risks that can be managed on the track, there are no such restrictions on how the system can be tested in the simulated world, with simulation trials due to form another component of the MuCCA project. The simulation trials will also be used to create scenarios where collisions cannot be fully avoided, with the connected cars instead looking to minimise the severity of such collisions.


A different type of simulator will also be used for gathering much of the initial data that will be used to generate the highly ambitious Human Driver Model (HDM) being developed by Cranfield University, which will help the system predict the most likely path that the conventionally driven vehicles will take. This part of the project will involve five interlinked driving simulators (so that the behaviour of several drivers can be captured simultaneously) which will all share a single virtual environment along with additional virtual cars. A number of collision or near-collision test scenarios will then be set up in order to capture the real actions taken by a varied pool of human test subjects.


In both the simulated test environments and out on the test track, the MuCCA system will need to demonstrate its ability to take in multiple data sources from the sensors of the various connected vehicles, to recognise potential collision risks as they occur, determine the best course of action and then communicate that shared plan to all the connected vehicles in the vicinity. Since reaction time is a significant factor, a fast and efficient coordination protocol is required among the cars involved to achieve the best avoiding outcomes, and the system therefore includes a scoring method to assess the confidence of success for each vehicle’s evasive strategy – with the highest-rated strategy being the one that all cars then adopt.


The involvement of Cosworth in the consortium is critical, bringing their expertise in data fusion and ensuring all the data and decisions are recorded for any post-incident analysis in a bespoke data logger. Regulations to support insurance and crash investigation will require such logging for automated vehicles.


Time still a factor

While computers can clearly process information and communicate with each other far faster than human drivers (and here SBD’s involvement is crucial as their analysis of how to protect a MuCCA vehicle from cyber-attacks is a crucial safety consideration, and illustrates how the project is focused on real world applications), the above requirements still pose a massive challenge to even the speediest of electronic brains. This brings us back to the observation already made above, that we are pushing at the limits of what is currently possible.


With vehicle-to-vehicle communication exchanges expected to take in the area of two hundredths of a second, and delays of between a tenth of a second and half a second anticipated when it comes to steering changes or the full application of brakes, time is patently still a factor for computer-controlled cars even while they retain a strong advantage over their human-driven counterparts.


It is that superiority over human drivers (in terms of anticipation, speed of calculation and time to react) that makes us confident that even a lone MuCCA vehicle will have superlative collision avoidance abilities, due to its ability to sense the trajectories of all surrounding human-driven cars and to anticipate their likely manoeuvres. If backed up by the work with the simulations and out on the test track, we hope to prove that the technology could bring major collision avoidance benefits even in the near future when CAVs are still rolling out.


We are obviously not yet at the point when we can confidently predict that motorway collisions will soon be a thing of the past – but we believe that MuCCA will play a major part in making that ultimate vision attainable.




MuCCA is Research & Development project funded by CCAV (Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles) and Innovate UK being delivered by a consortium consisting of AppIus IDIADA, Cosworth, Cranfield University, Westfield Sportscars, Secured By Design and the Transport Systems Catapult. Keep up to date with the latest news at or follow us on twitter @muccaproject





MuCCA project begins motorways trials

The Multi-Car Collision Avoidance (MuCCA) team began a public trial this month to gather information on sensor systems that will ultimately aid the development of an advanced connected and autonomous safety system that aims to avoid or reduce multi-car, high-speed accidents on motorways.


Cameras and LIDAR – housed in a roof box on a standard road vehicle driven by a human – will be used to capture video on a typical stretch of busy motorway. To avoid capture of any personal data, the focus on the video will be adjusted so that any faces captured cannot be recognised and number plates cannot be read or interpreted. Understanding typical traffic conditions on the motorway, and normal driver behaviour, is needed for the building and rigorous testing of the MuCCA system.


Eventually the MuCCA system will receive information from other connected cars (while also analysing actions of non-MuCCA cars), before making a collective decision about the best course of action to avoid or reduce any collisions. It will then take control of the cars, navigating around the problem, before returning control to the driver once safe.


The aim of these trials is to create a dataset to assess the performance (and limitations) of the LIDAR and object identification system, to understand the range over which vehicles in other lanes can be detected and the level of any false positives or negatives. The trial vehicle will carry out a short series of motorway trials under varying conditions, and will not have any autonomous capabilities linked to the sensor system. It is not a part of the project scope to test the MuCCA vehicles on public roads; all testing of MuCCA vehicles will be done on private testing grounds.


MuCCA is a £4.6m, 30-month project supported by Innovate UK, will implement, test and refine solutions to many of the technical challenges that face fully autonomous cars. These challenges include sensor systems, machine learning, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and vehicle control systems.


MuCCA is Research & Development project funded by CCAV (Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles) and Innovate UK being delivered by a consortium consisting of AppIus IDIADA, Cosworth, Cranfield University, Westfield Sportscars, Secured By Design and the Connected Places Catapult. Keep up to date with the latest news at or follow us on twitter @muccaproject


Further information

The trials will occur on the M1 motorway and connecting carriageways in vicinity of Milton Keynes – data will only be gathered on the motorway. No identifiable personal data will be captured during the trials.


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact