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Driverless Cars Get New £20m Government Investment

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Britain’s ‘cars of the future’ come a step closer with new development fund announced today

The government is investing another £20 million in the development of driverless car technology in the UK

Eight new projects will benefit from a new fund launched by Business Secretary Sajid Javid at a test track in Nuneaton this morning, allowing beneficiaries to develop technology to create “enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems”.

This could include streaming real-time traffic information directly to cars, allowing them to reroute and avoid traffic jams, or pooling details of road conditions to cut down on accidents in icy or wet weather.

Drive on

GATEway pod“Our cars of the future will be equipped with the technologies that will make getting from A to B safer, faster, and cleaner,” Javid said at the launch.

“They will alert drivers of accidents ahead and be able to receive information from their surroundings about hazards, increasing the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”

“Britain is a world-leader in research and development in such innovative technologies which improve lives and create opportunity for all.”

Last week, it was revealed that Britain’s first fully autonomous cars will soon begin testing on the streets of London as part of the GATEway driverless car project taking place in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The project will use adapted pods previously in use at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 (pictured above), and will be able to carry up to six passengers.

The new investment comes from the government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund, which is dedicated to developing new smart technology products around the UK.

“These projects will help profoundly change the way we travel within years, transforming our roads by making travel a simpler experience for drivers, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

“They will also bring great benefits to our society and the wider economy by opening up new routes for global investment.

“This is a landmark moment and will allow Britain to lead the way in the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.”

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