The Government has launched a new brand, MERIDIAN, for the development and testing of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) in the UK. This is jointly funded between the Government’s Centre for CAVs and industry and will seek to create a cluster of excellence along the M40 corridor between Coventry and London.
The development is the latest step to realising the Government’s ambition for the UK to be the best place to research and test CAV technology. This cluster will bring together existing test centres to maximise the benefits from each. This is in line with techUK’s recommendations to Government on its previous testing environment. The Government has identified four key areas in which the UK should focus on; advanced CAV testing and development, connected environments, data and cyber security, and new mobility services.
Alongside the launch, the Transport Systems Catapult has also published a Market Forecast for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. This sees the UK market reach an estimated £35bn involving over 27,000 jobs – as long as the UK is able to establish a leadership position.
Matthew Evans, head of techUK’s Smart Infrastructure Programme, said “The Government continues to make good progress in making the UK a great place to invest in and develop CAV technology. The overall prize is becoming clearer but it is important that we focus on our strengths within that market.”