Safe, secure and autonomous vehicle projects get funding boost

Autonomous car on a road

Self-driving vehicles in the UK are receiving a boost with the announcement that four trailblazing projects have received a total of £2.3 million from government.

The projects will demonstrate routes to safe fully automated vehicles.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest in these projects. The aim of this competition is to continue development of technologies to enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

The projects

Oxbotica-led project

An Oxbotica-led project to demonstrate how autonomous goods delivery can be done safely with driverless autonomy. The project partnership includes Ocado Group, the UK based pioneering online grocery technology company, as a future AV fleet operator.

Aurrigo-led project

An Aurrigo-led project that will use test bed sites across the UK and the National Exhibition Centre grounds, in Birmingham, to:

  • develop, verify and validate CAV technology, communications systems and cyber security requirements
  • strengthen the safety case for CAVs
  • provide increased understanding of the infrastructure needed for safe operation
  • inform UK policy.

This is in order to achieve the ultimate goal of removing the need for an on-board safety supervisor whilst operating in a live environment.

StreetDrone-led project

A StreetDrone-led project aims to reduce time to market for connected and automated vehicle technology in the movement of goods. The project centres on the use of ‘multi-driver’ vehicles. This can be driven through:

  • in-vehicle operator
  • remote operator
  • autonomous driving stack (ADS).

The accompanying security and safety assurance, to enable StreetDrone and the UK to be first to market in the automation of the freight supply chain

Conigital’s project

Conigital’s project’s human factors study will be undertaken in a simulation environment to identify key usability targets. These will be used to configure the evolved AV stack for testing on the CAVWAY Testbed and subsequently on the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) Testbed in Coventry.

The winners were announced at the Cenex LCV CAM event at the UTAC Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford.

Playing a leading role

Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison said:

The four projects announced today will help industry understand and overcome the challenges ahead as we seek to deploy safe and secure CAM services in the UK. Helping to secure our global leadership in this exciting, challenging and innovative space.

Simon Edmonds, Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK said:

The future of land transport in the UK, especially in urban environments, is increasingly going to be one where autonomous vehicles play a leading role. To make this happen we have to move forward with solutions that are not only ingenious, but also gain public confidence in these new technologies.

The pioneering projects for which we have announced funding today will help to drive this ambition forward.

Further information

About the competition

The CCAV announced it would work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation to invest with industry in automated vehicle trials.

The aim of this competition is to continue development of technologies that enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Funding is offered for the development of technologies applicable to either passenger services, freight services or both, intended for future deployment on public roads.

About CCAV

The CCAV is a joint Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Transport (DfT) unit. Established in 2015, CCAV is an expert unit that is working with industry and academia to make everyday journeys:

  • greener
  • safer
  • more flexible
  • more reliable.

This is by shaping the safe and secure emergence of connected and self-driving vehicles in the UK and by leading the government’s Future of Transport strategy.

Top image: Credit: Scharfsinn86 / Getty Images

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