20m boost for driverless car tech

20m boost for driverless car tech

Eight new driverless car projects have received a slice of £20 million worth of funding in a "landmark moment" for research and development.

The money - part of the Government's £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund - will be used to equip more than 40 miles of roads and motorways with talking car technologies.

It is hoped that doing so will help to transform travel in the UK by making the road network safer and reducing the number of traffic jams.

Driverless shuttles for people with visual impairments are just one of the projects set to benefit from the funding.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says the projects will profoundly change how the country gets from A to B.

He claims travelling will become a simpler experience for drivers, with technology sending updates to cars about nearby accidents or hazards. Such updates have the potential to increase the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians, as well as improve journey times, Mr McLoughlin says.

The projects will also benefit the wider economy by opening up new routes for global investment.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, estimates the development of new technology could create 320,000 jobs and generate £51 billion for the economy, putting the UK at the forefront of testing connected and autonomous vehicles.

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