The Government is to plough £30 million into research and development around driverless cars on UK roads.
The money will come from the Government’s Intelligent Mobility fund and the competition, which launches next month, is being set up to distribute the cash to independent teams so they can research and develop “innovative, connected autonomous vehicle technologies”.
Back in February £20 million of Government money was awarded to driverless car projects and an additional £19 million has been granted to driverless car projects in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin says that: “Driverless car technology will revolutionise the way we travel and deliver better journeys.
“Our roads are already some of the safest in the world and increasing advanced driver assist and driverless technologies has the potential to help cut the number of accidents further.”
In addition to the latest financial pledge the Government is also announcing a consultation on how automated cars should be used on British roads.
New measures are already being put in place so that automated vehicles can be insured for use on the roads and the Highway Code is being altered so that it considers advanced driver systems that allow cars to change lanes on motorways by themselves and vehicles that can be parked by remote control.
Motorway assist and remote control parking could be on the roads in two to four years, while driverless cars are expected from the mid-2020’s onwards.