£20m funding for autonomous vehicles

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The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has launched a competition to provide £20m of funding for the development of products and services for connected and autonomous vehicles.

It forms part of a £100m investment by the UK government in research and development of intelligent mobility announced in the March 2015 Budget, which will be delivered by Innovate UK.

Entrants will be expected to look at a range of issues including security and trustworthiness, vehicle communications, data acquisition, interaction with other road users, research into public acceptance, safety, help for an ageing population, and vehicle trials.

Projects are open to any size, however, the bulk is targeted to fund larger research and development projects, with £2.5m set aside for smaller feasibility studies. Small businesses could receive up to 70 per cent of their costs, medium-sized businesses 60 per cent and large businesses 50 per cent.

The competition is now open and the registration deadline for both types of project is at noon on 23 September 2015

Trials of driverless cars are already under way in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry as part of a plan to improve the UK’s standing in intelligent vehicle technologies.

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