UK bids to lead driverless cars R&D

Jul 27, 2015 • Newsautomotive technologyresearchdriverless carsTechnologyUK Government projects

The UK Government has launched a £20 million competitive fund for collaborative research and development into driverless vehicles, along with a code of practice for testing the technologies. 

The Government says the measures will put the UK at the forefront of the intelligent mobility market, expected to be worth £900 billion by 2025.  It aims to make the UK the best place for testing driverless technology and is inviting bidders to put forward proposals in areas such as safety, reliability, how vehicles can communicate with each other and the environment around them and how driverless vehicles can help give an ageing population greater independence.

The Government aims to make the UK the best place for testing driverless technology.

The fund is part of the £100 million funding for research into intelligent mobility announced by the Government earlier this year.  Successful bidders will match fund money with their own.


A new joint policy unit, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV) has been established to co-ordinate work by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and formulate future government policy on driverless cars and connected technology.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: "To boost productivity Britain will need to capitalise on new technologies like driverless vehicles, securing high skilled jobs for those who want to work hard and get on, and contributing to a more prosperous future for the whole of the country. Our world beating automotive industry, strengths in innovation and light touch regulatory approach to testing driverless technology combine to make the UK market competitive and an attractive destination for investors."

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: Driverless cars will bring great benefits to our society and economy and I want the UK to lead the way in developing this exciting technology. Our code of practice clearly shows that the UK is in the best position when it comes to testing driverless cars and embracing the motoring of the future. We now look forward to working with industry to make this a reality." A decade ago Britain’s car industry was in decline, but it is now the most productive amongst the major European producers," commented Jones. "New technology can help it improve its productivity and competitiveness in the future."

A code of practice was published to accompany the announcement to provide the industry with the framework they need to safely trial cars in real-life scenarios, and to create more sophisticated versions of the models that already exist. C-CAV is currently working on a range of new technological developments, including plans to test new roadside communication technology to improve traffic flow and safety through ‘connected corridors’. This would pilot technology that will provide drivers with useful journey and safety information.



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