Sensors for autonomous vehicles in Devon and Somerset
A skilled workforce
- Over 3,000 of the most experienced photonics engineers in the world.
- Access to photonics and microelectronics graduates from world class universities in Exeter and Plymouth.
- Respected technical courses at South Devon College.
An innovative ecosytem
- A cluster of over 170 companies involved in the development of CAV technologies.
- Opportunities to collaborate with world class research institutions such as the Centre for Quantum Photonics, Optoelectronics Research Centre and the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre.
A strategic location
- 4 international airports within easy reach.
- Access to 6 major seaports.
- Rail links to London and the Midlands.
This opportunity is:
UK costs of labour, industrial property and utilities are highly competitive compared to Western Europe.
Supported by government
The UK’s visa system is investor friendly and the Department for International trade offers advice on skills, finance and more.
Business networks and access to funding and academic institutions can help you get established and growing.
The photonics and microelectronics tech cluster based at the heart of the UK’s South West region has unrivalled experience of integrating sensors and sensor systems into products for the defence, aerospace and communications sectors.
This know-how will be critical in making autonomous vehicles a reality.
EFFECT Photonics Ltd
Dutch owned, EFFECT Photonics B.V. design and develop high speed optical components for communication systems enabling more widespread access to the internet.
The company’s advanced manufacturing facility is based at the University of Plymouth, Brixham Laboratory.
“We are engaged with a number of customers who see the value of EFFECT’s offering in a booming marketplace driven by the internet of things including connected autonomous vehicles and the need for the exchange of huge amounts of data.”
Paul Rosser, Vice President of Operations, EFFECT Photonics.
Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd
Silicon Sensing Systems, based in Plymouth, is a leader in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) inertial sensors. The business is owned by Collins Aerospace and Sumitomo Precision Products.
Its gyroscopes, accelerometers and inertial measurement units are used in autonomous systems navigation and to stabilise optical systems. It also produces devices for others, using advanced piezoelectric ceramic material techniques in its MEMS foundry.
“Our gyroscopes have supported many millions of hours of road trials in the evolution of autonomous vehicle control. We supply gyros for systems that guide and stabilise autonomous platforms under the sea, on the ocean surface, in the air and in space.”
Steve Capers, General Manager, Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd.
Sonardyne International Ltd
Sonardyne has a research, test and training facility in Plymouth. It is a leading global provider of underwater acoustic, inertial, optical and sonar technology. They supply industries including offshore energy, defence, maritime security, ocean science and renewables.
Sonardyne develops innovative products for the autonomous underwater vehicles market. These include acoustic navigation and communications instruments, gyrocompass and motion sensor systems, and Doppler Velocity Logs (DVLs).
“As a location for marine research and development, Plymouth’s appeal lies in the diversity of water bodies, water depths, harbours and natural inlets. This maximises the time available to deploy and evaluate our equipment following arrival at a test site.”
Ioseba Tena, Global Business Manager, Marine Robotics and Defence
Spirent Communications plc
Spirent’s positioning division is a leading provider of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), inertial simulation solutions, and Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) systems. Over 100 people are employed at their headquarters in Paignton, South West UK.
Spirent is investing in products to test location aware systems in a simulated real world environment. These include combining lidar, radar, 5G, and HD cameras continue to create more complex systems.
“Spirent is a Torbay success story. The business has worked hard to achieve and maintain the international recognition it has today. We will continue to invest in our workforce here to further develop the excellent skills-base we have today.”
Martin Foulger, Divisional Managing Director, Spirent Communications