£20m boost for driverless car technology
Eight new projects have been awarded £20 million in funding to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new “talking car technologies”.
The projects are the first to be funded from the Government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund. They range from developing autonomous shuttles to carry visually-impaired passengers using advanced sensors and control systems, to new simulation trials for autonomous pods to increase uptake and improve real-world trials.
Trials to test driverless cars on the streets are currently being worked on in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich. Autonomous vehicles are also being used in Heathrow to shuttle passengers, although these are currently on designated tracks.
Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, comments: “Britain is a world-leader in research and development in such innovative technologies which improve lives and create opportunity for all. That is why this government has protected the £6 billion science budget and is providing up to £20 million for these projects.”
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, adds: “This is a landmark moment and will allow Britain to lead the way in the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.”