Eight projects have been awarded a share of a £20m fund to help develop the next generation of autonomous vehicles.
Funded from the Government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund*, the projects will research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure.
The selected projects range from developing autonomous shuttles to carry visually-impaired passengers, to new simulation trials for autonomous pods.
Last Friday (29 January) the first autonomous vehicles to be tested on the streets of London were unveiled (pictured) while further trials are being prepared in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes.
The Government says it hopes the funding will help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, which it estimates to be worth £900bn per year globally by 2025.
Sajid Javid, business secretary, said: “Cars of the future will be equipped with the technologies that will make getting from A to B safer, faster, and cleaner.
“They will alert drivers of accidents ahead and be able to receive information from their surroundings about hazards, increasing the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
“Britain is a world-leader in research and development in such innovative technologies which improve lives and create opportunity for all.”
Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, added: “These projects will help profoundly change the way we travel within years, transforming our roads by making travel a simpler experience for drivers, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly.
“They will also bring great benefits to our society and the wider economy by opening up new routes for global investment.”
The eight projects to receive funding are:
UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment (UKCITE): a project to create the most advanced environment for testing connected and autonomous vehicles.
Insight: a project to develop driverless shuttles with advanced sensors and control systems and trial them in city pedestrian areas.
Tools for autonomous logistics operations and management: this project is a collaboration bringing together transport modellers and the computer games industry.
FLOURISH: this project will help develop innovative new tools to improve the understanding of user needs and expectations of connected and autonomous vehicles
MOVE-UK: this project will focus on accelerating the development, market readiness and deployment of automated driving systems.
INnovative Testing of Autonomous Control Techniques (INTACT): this project will reduce the cost of testing and evaluating autonomous control systems.
Pathway to Autonomous Commercial Vehicles: this project will develop an innovative solution to monitor key information from the vehicle and predict safety risks based on analytics.
i-MOTORS – Intelligent Mobility for Future Cities Transport Systems: i-MOTORS will deliver a connected Vehicle to Anything (V2X) system via a mobile platform as a proof of concept.
*The Intelligent Mobility fund was launched by Government-backed Transport Systems Catapult in 2015 and plans to pump £50-100m into fast-growth technology SMEs with the aim of helping give Britain 10% of a market projected to reach £900bn in 10 years.