Britain boosts its self-drive research
Self-driving car research is to receive a further boost from the British Government in an attempt to turn the UK into a world leader in the technology.
Now £20 million ($48 million) will go into a fund, to be matched by industry organisations, that will be spent on collaborative research and development into self-driving vehicles.
The money will come from £100 million set aside in the 2015 Budget for research into intelligent mobility.
Research organisations will bid for a share of the fund with proposals on safety, reliability, communication between vehicles and the impact on the elderly.
In addition to the money, the British Government also revealed that it plans to introduce a code of practice for the self-driving vehicle industry, which it says will provide guidelines on safely testing self-driving vehicles in real-life situations and creating more sophisticated versions of the vehicles already in existence.
The new fund more than doubles the amount already pledged to the industry, first offering £10 million to develop a UK testing infrastructure for self-driving cars, then a further £9 million to help run trials in four British towns.
The British Government hopes the funding will help to push Britain to the forefront of self-driving vehicle development.
Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are testing self-driving cars in conjunction with the UK Autodrive programme, while the Gateway scheme in Greenwich is testing driverless passenger shuttles and the Venturer consortium is researching public acceptance of the technology, as well as the legal and safety implications.
UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid said: “To boost productivity, Britain will need to capitalise on new technologies like driverless vehicles, securing high skilled jobs for those who want to work hard and get on, and contributing to a more prosperous future ... Our world-beating automotive industry, strengths in innovation and light-touch regulatory approach to testing driverless technology combine to make the UK market competitive and an attractive destination for investors.”
-Telegraph Group Ltd