The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the UK government’s initiative for advancing AV, is opening applications for a £25m (US$32.9m) fund which it plans to invest in up to four pilot schemes for self-driving vehicles. The £25m fund is part of the government’s plan to invest a total of £150m (US$197.3m) in cutting-edge technologies.
The funding is only available for pilots of self-driving passenger vehicles that aim to run a trial of at least six months in a public or semi-controlled setting. They should have a clear commercial focus, with the potential to become a lasting service from the early 2020s.
Further conditions to be eligible for the funding are that the projects should aim to test and validate the technologies against a clear user need, examine the public acceptance of the technologies and finally, test the business models that will deliver the service.
The competition to obtain the funding opens on 25 June 2018 and the deadline for applications is midday on 19 September 2018. Projects must be led by a business working with other businesses and researchers.
It is expected that the projects will have total costs of between £4m (US$5.3m) and £20m (US$26.3m) and the funding could cover up to 70% of the total project cost.
Briefing events will be held in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Glasgow and Sunderland at the end of June and beginning of July 2018.
By Illya Verpraet