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Self-driving cars could become a normal feature on British streets by 2021

UK’s Business Minister Richard Harrington invited companies to bid for £30 million of funding to support the development of self-driving vehicles on UK roads.

Funded through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian, the Government’s unique hub for testing autonomous technology, the competitions see Government and industry jointly investing in UK businesses to help realise the Government’s ambition to see fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021.

The next round of the competition could answer drivers’ parking woes since up to £5m will be awarded to projects developing and testing autonomous parking technology. This technology will allow self-driving cars to park in a range of different environments without human intervention.

The money will also fund two public-testing sites for self-driving cars in urban settings, the first of the kind in Europe, these sites will ensure that connected and autonomous vehicles to become a normal feature on UK roads. It is part of the modern Industrial Strategy’s Mobility Grand Challenge to invest in and shape the design, development and manufacture of the transport system of tomorrow.

Business Minister Richard Harrington said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way we move people and goods across the UK. They also support our ambition for a cleaner, greener future as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. The UK is already leading the way in developing this technology and today’s funding will bring self-driving vehicles one step closer to becoming a normal feature on UK roads and could, in time, make learning to parallel park a thing of the past.”

Chair Automotive Council Technology, Graham Hoare said: “On behalf of the Automotive Council, I welcome the latest developments at Meridian Mobility Technology, the UK’s CAV Development Capability. Meridian continues the acceleration of the UKs CAV development facilities with the announcement of important partnerships as part of the latest outcomes of the TestBed program, Wave 2&3. These new capabilities will complement our strengthening UK Test capability with the advantage of a ‘one stop shop’ mind-set for the industry.”

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