ITS sector commentators have welcomed George Osborne’s announcement of the current Parliament’s final Budget, in which £100M has been allocated for intelligent mobility research and development.
“We are going to back our brilliant automotive industry by investing £100M to stay ahead in the race to driverless technology,” Mr Osborne said in his Budget speech.
The money is expected to be matched by industry to create a £200M five year Intelligent Mobility Programme. This will look to enhance the development of driverless car technology and the systems required to implement and adopt it.
“The programme will research, develop and demonstrate autonomous and connected vehicle technologies and we can be sure that many of our Members will be taking part,” said ITS (UK) secretary general Jennie Martin.
“The investment is intended to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in this emerging market and ITS (UK) and its Members will be working towards this goal.”
The UK’s technology and innovation centre for intelligent mobility – the Transport Systems Catapult – has also welcomed the funding announcement. CEO Steve Yianni said: “This comes barely a month after our successful launch in Greenwich of the first LUTZ Pathfinder pod prototype, and further demonstrates the UK’s appetite to lead the world in the testing and development of this exciting new field of technology.”
KPMG UK head of automotive John Leech added: “Driverless cars will reduce congestion and improve safety, and this investment will help to unlock these benefits in the next decade.”
The Budget 2015 document also confirmed that Government will invest £40M in demonstrator programmes, business incubator space and a research hub to develop applications for ‘Internet of Things’ technologies in Smart Cities.
Original source: ITS UK