Eight new projects have been awarded £20m in funding to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new ‘talking car technologies’, Business Secretary Sajid Javid will announce on a visit to the autonomous vehicles test bed in Nuneaton.
The projects are the first to be funded from the government’s £100m 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 and Milton Keynes, and Greenwich. Autonomous vehicles are also being used in Heathrow to shuttle passengers, although these are currently on designated tracks.
The UK has a rich fabric of scientists and engineers who have established the UK as pioneers in the research and development of connected and autonomous vehicles. The funding will help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, estimated to be worth £900bn per year globally by 2025.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“Our 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. That is why this government has protected the £6bn science budget and is providing up to £20m for these projects.”