£30 million of funding available for autonomous developments in the UK

Posted: 7 June 2018 | | No comments yet

A recent funding competition will see the UK leading Europe into the public testing of autonomy, with the potential of making self-parking vehicles a reality…


Two new funding competitions have invited companies to bid for £30 million to create two permanent self-driving test sites in the UK; supporting the development of autonomy on UK roads.

Funded through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian Mobility Technology, the competitions see Government and industry together investing in UK businesses to help reach the Government’s ambition of deploying fully self-driving vehicles onto the roads by 2021.

£5 million will be awarded to projects developing and testing autonomous parking technology, which allows self-driving cars to park in a range of environments without human intervention. The money will also fund two public-testing sites for self-driving cars in urban settings – the first of their kind in Europe.

These sites will ensure that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) can become a normal and frequent element on UK roads. It is part of the modern Industrial Strategy’s Mobility Grand Challenge to invest in and shape the design, development and manufacture of tomorrow’s transport system.

Business Minister, Richard Harrington, said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way we move people and goods across the UK. They also support our ambition for a cleaner, greener future as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. The UK is already leading the way in developing this technology and this funding will bring self-driving vehicles one step closer to becoming a normal feature on UK roads and could, in time, make learning to parallel park a thing of the past.”

The launch builds on the success of an earlier competition which saw four UK projects receive a total of £51 million to test the speed, safety and potential opportunities for delivering CAV innovation.

Chair Automotive Council Technology, Graham Hoare, said: “On behalf of the Automotive Council, I welcome the latest developments at Meridian Mobility Technology. Meridian continues the acceleration of the UK’s CAV development facilities with the announcement of important partnerships as part of the latest outcomes of the TestBed programme, ‘Wave 2&3’. These new capabilities will complement our strengthening UK test capability with the advantage of a ‘one stop shop’ mind-set for the industry.”

The UK’s Industrial Strategy is a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future through a stronger, fairer economy. Through this, businesses will be able to offer better, higher-paying jobs – setting a path for Britain to lead in the high-tech, highly-skilled industries of the future.

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