The Transport Systems Catapult today signed a long-term grant funding agreement with Innovate UK that will position the UK as a world leader in smart transport systems.
The Transport Systems Catapult – the technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility – formally signed its grant funding agreement with the Government agency Innovate UK to provide stable long-term funding for the next five years.
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.
Will Whitehorn, chairman of the Transport Systems Catapult said:
“The signing of this agreement makes the Transport Systems Catapult the UK’s first independent organisation with a mission to make the UK a world leader in smart transport, unlocking over £60m in public and private funding to allow us to make decisions, build capability, and make a real difference to the transport sector.
“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. With an aging and growing population it is an imperative for society.”
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, safer, 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.”
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 programme launched by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement.
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 pedestrianised areas.
A short video from the signing ceremony, including the thoughts of Will Whitehorn, can be viewed here.