Welcome to CAVWAY
This website gives details of the proposed development at Oakley Airfield for the development & testing of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles. It is intended as both an aid for the local community but also to provide early information of our exciting plans for the CAVWAY site to potential future customers.
The planning application with the ID 20/02090/APP has been approved by Buckinghamshire Council.
We have developed this promotional video to better explain our plans for the CAVWAY proving ground.
11th March 2021 - Planning permission approved
What is CAVWAY?
CAVWAY is a test site for the automotive and mobility industries part-funded by the UK government to aid the development and testing of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).
It will be used by a variety of automotive & technology companies to test and verify their new ideas in particular related to the Grand Challenges described in the Government's Industrial Strategy policy paper. CAVWAY may find itself being used to meet any or all of those challenges, for example, to improve the future of mobility or help with an ageing society as well as promoting clean growth through the reduction of energy consumption. The site may also be used to certify vehicles against new and emerging safety standards in related areas; for example lane-keeping or emergency braking regulations.
There are six sites throughout the country, part-funded by the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, and each site emphasises different aspects of technology in different environments.
The site at Oakley is intended to provide a fully controlled environment concentrating on Highway Intersections. The six sites are collectively known as CAM TestBed UK and are managed by Zenzic. Together we help the UK automotive industry to compete in this rapidly changing world.
CAM TestBed UK also allows the UK to attract inward investment as a recognised centre for high technology skills and businesses.
Who is involved?
The CAVWAY project was awarded to a consortium of two companies:
IDIADA Automotive Technology Ltd
IDIADA is an automotive testing & certification company that was started at the University of Catalonia's Higher Engineering School over 40 years ago to support the local automotive industry. IDIADA now has the most comprehensive independent proving ground in Europe at their HQ in the south of Barcelona, and employs over 2600 people in 22 countries around the world. IDIADA currently has 3 offices in the UK: Nuneaton, Cambridge & Warwick employing 50 people.
IDIADA is proud to be part of the global organisation Applus+ with a strong ethical, social and environmental commitment.
Prova Developments Ltd
Prova is a new company, owned and operated by Dave Walton, a successful businessman from Leicestershire. The company has been set up specifically to support the CAVWAY project. Until recently, Dave was the managing director and co-owner of C.Walton Ltd which owned and operated the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in South Leicestershire.
Bruntingthorpe covered a 670 acre site and was run as a successful, independent proving ground for the general automotive industry for nearly 40 years and for approximately 10 years by Peugeot before that. Prova's experience in setting up and operating a successful proving ground will therefore be invaluable with CAVWAY and the perfect complement to IDIADA.
Dave and the Bruntingthorpe site were also famous for the support given to get the infamous Avro Vulcan XH558 back to the sky in 2007.
What will happen to the airfield?
We plan to add various roads on and around some of the existing runways as shown on the Google Earth image. These will create several configurations of two and three-lane highway junctions as well as an area where any specific road crossing can be re-created, complete with traffic lights or roundabouts.
CAVWAY will only use the eastern half of the airfield. The western half will not be affected at all. We will add a single storey office building and an equipment storage building near the current hangar building. We plan to use the existing Hangar entrance to the airfield and so there will be no changes at all to the local road network. In fact, very few (if any) of the changes will be visible outside the airfield.
The video shows how the site might look 10 years from now.
Re-routing of bridleways
We plan to increase the total length of bridleways using the airfield from 3000m to 3800m.
We plan to increase the number of bridleway access points from 3 to 5.
We will add a bridleway access on to the airfield directly from Worminghall village.
We will add gates to the bridleway at the CAVWAY entrance to ensure safety for all users.
We will add a link in to “dead end” path WOR/6/4 in order to open up the local network further.
We will add earth banking and fencing to maintain a safe distance for bridleway users.
In the future, it will be possible to walk from Worminghall village to Wornal Park industrial estate avoiding the road completely.
(UPDATED: 8th February 2022)
Our original plan for the new bridlepath was for completion in May 2021 however we have unfortunately been delayed in our plans. Initially, this was due to environmental issues beyond our control such as nesting birds that we couldn’t disturb during the nesting season, as well as the relocation of great crested newts, both of which had to be dealt with sensitively and carefully.
Whilst we have now dealt with these issues, we now have a further delay caused by construction issues. Unfortunately, due to some unexpected issues with the project, we have had to temporarily close, or hibernate, the site whilst we sort out the solution. This process is going well, however it does mean that construction on the site has temporarily stopped. We can assure you that we are doing everything that we can to get the project back on track.
There will be those locally who will be most interested in progress on the new bridle path. Approximately 90% of the new bridlepath is now complete however there are sections where there is no permanent fencing in place and there are also elements around where the bridlepath will cross the road at the site entrance that still need to be completed. We are also still awaiting approval from the local highways department to allow us to do these changes. Unfortunately, these construction issues, coupled with the temporary site closure, mean an ongoing delay in opening the new bridlepath whilst these issues are addressed. We are therefore currently expecting that it will be at least May before the bridlepath will be complete and available for use.
We appreciate that these delays will be frustrating to those people who have supported us and those wanting to make the most of the new bridlepath facility and we do ask you to bear with us. Whilst we have permission to close all of the bridlepaths during the CAVWAY construction, we do not want to close the site to regular users, as we know how important access to the site is to many people. We have therefore made an agreement with the local land-owner to continue to use part of his site for a temporary bridlepath. Signs have been put up at entrances to the site in order to explain the new (temporary) path route and these are also shown in red on the plan below. We hope that users of the bridlepath will appreciate this option and this will remain open until the new bridlepath can be opened.
Please be assured that the lack of construction activity is frustrating for all involved with the project and that we are doing everything that we can to get it restarted. In the meanwhile, we will post any updates on the website as soon as we have them.
CAVWAY use cases
CAVWAY is a connected and autonomous vehicle test facility designed and operated by IDIADA, that includes every type of road junction within a controlled, connected environment.
CAVWAY will be able to mimic various aspects of the real world, but by doing this behind closed doors in a carefully controlled way, we will aid in the early product development of some exciting, novel technologies. We fully anticipate that some of these ideas may never come to fruition. The videos below show a selection of automated technologies under test, any one of which could be carried out at CAVWAY in the future. We just don’t know what lies around the corner.
Multi-Car Collision Avoidance
Advanced Driver Assistance – Emergency Braking Standards
Driverless Automated Taxi
How many people will there be using the site?
Initially 10-15 per day, growing to 50 in a few years. Maximum of 100 per day in 10 years.
How much traffic will be created during construction?
Most heavy construction traffic will arrive at start of build and leave when complete. However there will be some large deliveries on odd days during this phase.
How much traffic in operation?
Likely to be minimal during the day. Normal morning/evening arrive/depart for most staff.
How noisy might it be?
The site will not generate any significant noise and will certainly not be noticeable above the M40 traffic. In the future, a lot of test vehicles will be hybrid or electric and are unlikely to be heard at all outside the airfield.
When will it start?
Conversion of the site is due to start on March 2021 and due to open for business by September 2021.
What about the rest of the airfield?
There are no plans to make any changes to the rest of the airfield.
Will there be any job opportunities?
It is highly likely there will be some opportunities as the site comes on stream.