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Self-driving cars

An overview of government’s challenge to industry and research to develop AI and control systems that put the UK at the forefront of the driverless cars revolution.


Self-driving cars

What is the self-driving cars challenge?

The UK is a world-leader in technology enabling self-driving cars – a sector that is predicted to be worth £63 billion by 2035. The government aims to make the UK a premier development location for connected and automated vehicles.

Working with industry partners, it is funding new collaborative research and development programmes to develop the next generation of artificial intelligence and control systems.

What’s the investment?

The government is investing in industry and researchers to develop next-generation artificial intelligence and control systems for driverless cars.  £28 million has been invested through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in three projects:

DRIVEN will see a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles being deployed in urban and inter urban areas, culminating in autonomous journeys within London and Oxford. No connected and autonomous vehicle trial at this level of complexity and integration has ever been attempted anywhere in the world.

RoboPilot will develop and demonstrate autonomous driving functionality for an electric delivery van, which can then be adapted for future rollout of larger trucks and buses, bringing advanced autonomous technology to the light commercial vehicles market. Demonstration of SAE level four autonomy will be over a ten-mile route on mixed public roads in all weathers, and of driverless self-parking, will be conducted with potential customers.

StreetWise aims to demonstrate the technology, safety validation methods, insurance and service models for delivering an autonomous personal mobility solution needed to replace the urban commuter car.

What’s the opportunity?

There is currently no new funding available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for self-driving vehicles.

Case Studies

Streetwise: developing self-driving vehicles for the daily commute

Robopilot: developing a self-driving delivery van

Funding may be available through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

CCAV is a centre hosted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport, that aims to make the UK a premier location for the advancement of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV). It is providing over £250 million in funding, matched by industry, to position the UK at the forefront of CAV research, development and use.

For more information, see: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/centre-for-connected-and-autonomous-vehicles