Driverless cars, innovation, and transport infrastructure received a major boost in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, in a move to position the UK as a global leader in the emerging ‘Intelligent Mobility’ market, estimated to be worth £900bn per year by 2025.
The Transport Systems Catapult – the technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility – welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that four UK towns and cities (Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol, Greenwich) have won the Driverless Car Competition to integrate autonomous vehicles into everyday life. The competition received £19 million in government funding, with similar funding being provided by private sector partners, marking a considerable investment in the development of driverless vehicle technology.
It also highlighted the importance of investing in new technology to create jobs, drive economic growth, and transform the way we transport people and goods around the world. The UK’s capability in driverless vehicles and autonomous systems will enable it to become a market leader in an emerging technology sector, selling related products and services around the world.
Steve Yianni, chief executive of the Transport Systems Catapult said:
“Technology such as driverless vehicles, intelligent phone apps, and social media, will transform how we travel in the future – making journeys faster, easier, and more connected.”
“Through the LUTZ Pathfinder programme, the Transport Systems Catapult has pioneered the introduction of driverless pods in Milton Keynes and the first ever tests in the UK will take place in 2015 in a controlled public environment. The UK is at the forefront of this emerging new technology and could become the leading supplier of autonomous vehicles and systems around the world.”
“Intelligent Mobility is the future of transport – using emerging technology to improve the movement of people and goods around the world. With a global market estimated to be worth £900bn by 2025, it’s a sector that is critical to creating jobs and securing long-term economic growth in the UK.”
The Transport Systems Catapult is the project lead for the LUTZ Pathfinder programme – a pilot project that will put driverless pods on footpaths in a UK city for the first time in 2015. It is also a key partner in the £20M twin-city UK Autodrive project (covering Milton Keynes and Coventry) announced by the Chancellor today.
UK Autodrive will build on the success of the LUTZ Pathfinder programme – the design, performance, and learning from early tests – and scale this up to create a full city demonstrator that will eventually see public trials with a fleet of around 40 driverless pods using pedestrianized areas. In an Autumn Statement which prioritised growth and job creation, the Chancellor also outlined his commitment to the UK’s Catapult network of technology and innovation centres.