Gov’t grants £20m towards CAV development

The UK government has awarded £20m worth of grants for projects related to the development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).

Gov’t grants £20m towards CAV development

These projects are the first to be funded by the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund.

£3.41m of the grant was won by UK-Cite, a consortium including Jaguar and Land Rover and Siemens, which is investing in 41 miles of roads between Coventry and Solihull that the company has termed its ‘living laboratory.’

Over the next three years up to 100 connected and autonomous cars are expected to be tested on the route, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles.

Overall the project is expected to cost £5.5m, and will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure’ systems on public roads.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This real-life laboratory will allow Jaguar Land Rover’s research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions. Similar research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe so this test route is exactly the sort of innovation infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally.

Other grants

A second grant receiver was the Flourish Consortium, which said; “The three year project, worth £5.5 million, seeks to develop products and services that maximise the benefits of Connected and Autonomous vehicles (CAVs) for users and transport authorities.”

Specifically, Flourish said it will look at cyber security and wireless communication vulnerabilities, with an aim of developing tools to create safer networks.

Other projects which won the grant were Move-UK, which plans to look at accelerating the development, market readiness and deployments of automated driving systems, ‘INnovative Testing of Autonomous Control Techniques’ (Intact), which plans to spend £1m reducing the cost of testing and evaluating autonomous control systems, while i-Motors won part of the grant to develop a proof-of-concept connected ‘Vehicle to Anything’ system.

One project, run by consortium Insight, will look at developing driverless shuttles and trial them in city pedestrian areas. Project Pathway to Autonomous Commerical Vehicles also won a grant, and will look to develop a tool for monitoring key information from vehicles to predict safety risks based on analytics.

The final grant went to ‘Tools for autonomous logistics operations and management,’ which aims to bring together transport modellers and computer games to develop new modelling and improve the return on investment for connected and autonomous fleets.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said “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.”

In addition to the 8 collaborative R&D projects, the Business Secretary also announced 14 feasibility studies to identify where additional data could help the UK CAV market develop further.