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A £40 million programme to test driverless cars has been jointly funded by the UK government and private industry.

Catapult System Catapult reports that three self-driving vehicles will be trialed on footpaths in Milton Keynes in 2015.


The “Introducing driverless cars to UK roads” competition was launched in July by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, as a result of the interest in pioneering projects such as the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pods programme.

Initially involving £10 million funding, The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement pledged a further £9 million injection with private investors brining the total to £40 million.

“The Transport Systems Catapult was created to champion Intelligent Mobility and to drive major investment in new technologies that can position the UK as global leaders in this field,” Transport Systems Catapult CEO Steve Yianni said, following the 3rd December announcement.

“It is testament to our success in getting that message across, that we have now seen the planned investment in driverless vehicle technology quadrupling in just over four months since Innovate UK launched the competition.”

The partners in the ‘UK Autodrive’ consortium are Arup, Milton Keynes Council, Coventry Council, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, RDM Group, MIRA, Thales (UK), Oxbotica, AXA, international law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, the Transport Systems Catapult, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and the Open University.


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