Since 2014, the UK government has invested over £120 million supporting over 70 connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) projects, with a further £68 million coming from industry contributions.
The most recent road trials to be announced include self-driving vehicles running on single-track roads in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.
Other new initiatives include an autonomous bus service from Fife to Edinburgh (across the Forth Bridge) and a self-driving taxi trial in London.
The ServCity pilot, led by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has won £11.15m from Innovate UK towards its £19.8m project to develop a bookable autonomous taxi service in the capital.
The consortium also includes the University of Nottingham and Professor Gary Burnett, Chair of Transport Human Factors, said: “ServCity is an ideal opportunity for us to conduct world-leading research to understand the complex factors that will contribute to the public’s acceptance of connected and automated vehicles.”
Elsewhere, the government has recently backed four other projects which form part of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian’s £100m infrastructure programme:
1) The Connected Vehicle Data Exchange (ConVEx), led by Bosch, to help position the UK as a leader in CAV research and development.
2) Highway Intersections, which will see 6km of track added to Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire to mimic a variety of road junctions.
3) Rural and Highway, a project adding 265km of roads to UK public, controlled and virtual testing facilities via the Midlands Future Mobility consortium.
4) Self-parking Cars, a consortium including Japanese-owned HORIBA MIRA and Coventry University to create realistic parking scenarios on Warwickshire’s MIRA technology park.
On a visit to driverless vehicle software company Oxbotica, Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, said: “The UK is building on its automotive heritage and strengths to develop the new vehicles and technologies and from 2021 the public will get to experience the future for themselves.”
For further details on CCAV projects, see the 80-page report UK Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Research & Development Projects 2018.