The UK has announced plans to build a new centre to develop intelligent transport systems that will make vehicles safer and more fuel efficient.

The £6.5m innovITS – ADVANCE centre will work on developing autonomous vehicles, car trains and collision avoidance and mitigation systems as well as the use of the latest technologies in electronics, mobile telecommunications and navigation devices.

The centre will also provide opportunities to develop technologies that could increase environmental efficiency through improved fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, while also helping to alleviate traffic congestion.

The centre will incorporate a secure testing environment that will allow for the controlled testing of combined vehicle, highway, telecoms and navigation system innovations.

The centre is also expected to spur research and development in the UK West Midlands, which is seen as a crucial area for the future development of road transportation.

The first phase of the centre is expected to be open in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in the late Spring of 2010.

The project is being carried out by innovITS, MIRA and Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and funded by Advantage West Midlands.