Connected and autonomous vehicle technology in the UK will take another leap forward, following the announcement of funding under the banner of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). With three of the chosen projects in the driverless cars stream of ISCF supported by experts from TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility continues to play an instrumental role in securing the UK’s position at the forefront of advanced vehicle technologies.

The announcement made by Business Secretary Greg Clark, on 21 April 2017, confirmed the award of £38 million for industry-led research and development projects to deliver the next generation of AI and control systems. TRL’s involvement in the project consortia will see the organisation’s experts provide guidance on key safety, insurance and technology verification elements.

Rob Wallis, CEO at TRL, commented: “We continue to see a major industry shift towards automation, connectivity and electrification of vehicles, and the use of shared mobility schemes. Such market disruption is transforming the way people will travel, especially in cities, and it is vital that the UK remains at the forefront of this development. 

“TRL believes the UK Government's CAV ambitions, in partnership with British businesses, remains critical in ensuring the UK plays its role as a major global innovator within this fast-changing market. TRL is proud to be engaged in an ever-increasing programme of innovative CAV initiatives, building on its many decades of experience in this field."

The consortia in which TRL will be involved include DRIVEN – an ambitious project that will see a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles being deployed in urban areas and on motorways, culminating in an end-to-end journey from London to Oxford. A key area of focus will be the development of an automated system to radically transform how insurance and autonomous vehicles will work together in connected cities.

Iwan Parry, Head of Insurance at TRL, said: “To support the successful adoption of CAVs, it is important to consider all of the elements around safety, insurance and traffic management alongside the technology itself. Through DRIVEN, TRL will work with consortia partners to develop a structure for an integrated transport approach that sees vehicles connect seamlessly to urban traffic control systems. Innovative and dynamic insurance methodologies are also vital to ensure a confident reception to CAVs on UK roads.”

TRL will also be involved in Streetwise – a project to develop and demonstrate the technology, safety validation methods, insurance and service models for delivering an autonomous personal mobility solution targeted at replacing the urban commuter car. The focus is on reducing costs, cutting accident rates, lowering emissions and minimising congestion.

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