Technology firm Indra is set to test autonomous driving on roads in Lisbon, Madrid and Paris, as part of a project to develop Europe's transport infrastructure.

Focusing on safety, the tests aim to highlight necessary changes to European infrastructure and traffic control centres in order to accommodate autonomous vehicles.

The trials are part of a project being carried out by the Indra-led AUTOCITS consortium, a group of organisations attempting to support and facilitate the deployment of autonomous vehicles in urban environments.

From 2017-2018, three drivers will be deployed to the cities to test the relationship between autonomous vehicles, conventional vehicles and control centres, and draw up recommendations based on their results.

Each driver will use cooperative services and the latest technology, as well as results from projects carried out by other consortium members.

"The tests aim to highlight necessary changes to European infrastructure and traffic control centres in order to accommodate autonomous vehicles."

Ultimately, the project aims to contribute to the regulatory framework and traffic rules that would improve the interoperability of autonomous vehicles, as well as ensure their correct use on European roads.

The consortium aims to develop intelligent transport services based on cooperative systems (C-ITS) that will enable vehicles, users and infrastructures to communicate and share information, using the ITS-G5 European standard.

Apart from Indra, the consortium's members include Spain's Traffic Department (DGT), the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), Portugal's National Road Safety Authority (ANSR), the University of Coimbra (UC), the Pedro Nunes Institute (IPN) and Inventors for the Digital World (INRIA) in France.

The consortium has a budget of €2.6m and is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.

Image: Indra to test autonomous driving on European roads. Photo: courtesy of Indra.