A £100 million fund to support UK industries establishing themselves in the autonomous car technology arena has been announced. However, there’s a great leap in technology required to move from the self-driving Heathrow pods that run on dedicated paths behind sliding doors and fencing to being able to drive on the road, dealing with unpredictable human drivers!
This week sees £20m being award across eight new projects. This funding comes from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Eight Funded Projects
UKCITE – This will create an advanced environment for testing connected and autonomous vehicles. It will equip 41 miles of mixed roads. The aim is to establish how technology can improve journeys, reduce traffic congestion and provide entertainment and safety functionality through connectivity.
Insight – Will develop and trial shuttles in pedestrian areas requiring advanced sensors and control systems.
Tools for autonomous logistics operations and management – The aim is to develop new modelling technology and help improve the return on investment into connected and autonomous vehicle fleets significantly.
FLOURISH – This project will help develop new, innovative tools to improve the understanding of user needs and expectations of connected and autonomous vehicles. It will be based in the Bristol area and will test capabilities in both urban and suburban networked environments.
MOVE-UK – Will focus on accelerating the development, market readiness and deployment of automated driving systems.
INTACT – Aims to reduce the cost of testing and evaluating autonomous control systems in a safe, repeatable, controlled and scientifically rigorous environment.
Pathway to Autonomous Commercial Vehicles – This project will develop an innovative solution to monitor key information from the vehicle and predict safety risks based on analytics.
i-MOTORS will deliver a connected Vehicle to Anything (V2X) system via a mobile platform as a proof of concept.
Though these technologies will eventually become widespread, early adopters of vehicles with self-driving features may face a lack of support and high introductory costs that will require credit for their purchases. It’s predicted that the rise of these features will bring about increased business for companies like http://www.rightdrive.co.uk and many others providing car credit in Portsmouth and throughout the UK.
The future of self-driving cars is very exciting as we see more features appearing in our cars and the more advanced concepts entering the development and demonstration stages.