The UK government and industry will be providing £84m in funding for driverless technologies in the UK.
The projects to be awarded funding are:
- CAVForth II by Fusion Processing, which was awarded £10.4m to launch the world’s first operational, full-sized, self-driving bus service in Edinburgh with Stagecoach and Alexander Dennis
- V-CAL from the North East Automotive Alliance, which received £8m to roll out self-driving and remotely piloted HGVs between the Vantec and Nissan sites in Sunderland
- Hub2Hub from HVS, which won £13.2m to develop a new, zero emissions, self-driving HGV with Asda
Sunderland Advanced Mobility Shuttle from City of Sunderland Council, which received £6m to build and trial a self-driving shuttle service to the University of Sunderland and the Sunderland Royal Hospital
- Project Harlander by Belfast Harbour, which was awarded £11m to deploy a self-driving shuttle service around Belfast Harbour
- Multi-Area Connected Automated Mobility by Conigital, which won £15.2m to establish a remote driving control hub, to oversee self-driving vehicles operating in Solihull and Coventry, with the NEC and local councils
- Project Cambridge Connector from Greater Cambridge Partnership, which was allocated £17.4m to trial on-demand, self-driving taxis, to complement existing transport services in parts of Cambridge.
The £42m in government funding is reportedly being matched by investments from industry.
Grant Shapps, business secretary, said: “In just a few years’ time, the business of self-driving vehicles could add tens of billions to our economy and create tens of thousands of jobs across the UK.
“This is a massive opportunity to drive forward our priority to grow the economy, which we are determined to seize.
“The support we are providing today will help our transport and technology pioneers steal a march on the global competition, by turning their bright ideas into market-ready products sooner than anyone else.”
Autonomous mobility company StreetDrone will take the technology lead in the second phase of the V-CAL project, which was announced today [1 February 2023], and awarded an £8m share of the funding (£4m from central government, matched by industry) for its work on developing an autonomous HGV for zero-emission automated logistics.
The project’s second stage will attempt to demonstrate scalability and fully operational deployment of four zero-emission autonomous HGVs in a complex industrial environment.