News story

Testing connected and autonomous vehicles: apply for funding

Up to £30 million is available to UK businesses and research organisations to advance facilities for the development of self-driving vehicles.

RDM Group's autonomous vehicle, the Pod Zero
There is up to £30 million for infrastructure that supports connected and autonomous vehicle development.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) - with Meridian Mobility and Innovate UK – has up to £30 million for projects that help make the UK the most effective connected and autonomous vehicle development ecosystem in the world.

Businesses and research organisations can apply into 2 competitions that support the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles and progress their development.

Market opportunities

Connected and autonomous vehicles are a rapidly developing technology area. They offer potentially huge economic and social benefits – but in leveraging this we need to make sure that safety, security and privacy are not compromised.

By funding the infrastructure that supports these vehicles, we will help industry to develop safe, efficient systems for moving goods and people around.

These competitions are part of Meridian Mobility’s self-driving vehicle development programme, which is designed to support cutting-edge connected and autonomous vehicle development infrastructure in the UK.

Connected vehicles data exchange

In the first competition, there is up to £5 million for one project that supports the sharing and trading of data generated by infrastructure, connected or autonomous vehicles or other third parties.

The proposed platform will need to:

  • cope with increasing volumes of data and new data formats
  • be accessible and appropriate for users

Applications for projects should:

  • demonstrate a clear routes to commercial viability and sustainable business model
  • demonstrate best practice in data ethics, security and privacy standards compliance, including General Data Protection Regulation
  • demonstrate the use of cutting-edge technology, such as blockchain
  • generate or use real world data
  • represent the target environment in the UK and other appropriate global markets
  • include suitable hardware for the platforms and services that will support connected and autonomous vehicle deployment
  • contribute to a data working group that will inform and influence policy and standards
  • support integration and collaboration across UK’s connected and autonomous vehicle ecosystem
  • where applicable, demonstrate that you have consulted road owner operators

Autonomous highway, rural roads and parking

There is up to £25 million in the second competition. This is for up to 6 projects for facilities to support the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles for highways, rural roads and parking.

We are seeking projects across 4 themes. The amount you can get will depend on the area you are applying into. These are:

  • controlled test environments that represent highways and the common features of road junctions. We are looking to fund one facility in this area
  • continuous public test environments, including highways and rural roads, which connect to existing urban test sites. We will fund one to 2 environments
  • controlled parking test environments that are realistic and representative of current and future infrastructure for automated parking. We will fund one facility in this area
  • public parking test environments for autonomous vehicle parking. We will fund one to 2 environments

Projects must be carried out in a defined geographical area that covers parts of the West Midlands through to the South East. Facilities may be located anywhere in this area including:

  • Coventry
  • Royal Leamington Spa
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Northampton
  • Milton Keynes
  • Oxford
  • Luton
  • London
  • Reading
  • Croydon
  • Guildford

You may still be eligible if your proposed facility falls just outside of the defined area. Contact customer support service at Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, on or 0300 321 4357 to discuss.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for registrations is at midday on 29 August 2018
  • a UK-based business or research organisation must lead the project and collaborate with other partners
  • for the connected vehicles data exchange competition, projects should have total costs of up to 10 million and start before March 2019
  • for the autonomous highway, rural roads and parking test facilities competition, projects should have total costs between £1 million and £20 million and start before March 2019
  • businesses could attract up to 50% of their project costs
  • applications that build on and complement existing operational facilities are preferred
  • if your application meets the quality threshold you will be invited to interview in October 2018
  • a briefing event will be held on 11 June 2018
  • you will need to sign up to the Meridian Mobility Charter in order to start a project
Published 6 June 2018