New Automotive Sector Deal puts wheels in motion for UK as the destination to research and test CAVs.
On Wednesday 10 January, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced the first Sector Deal between the Government and automotive industry. The “landmark” deal, which will support the growing collaborative relationship between industry and government, aims to build upon the UK’s “rich history of scientific discovery” and existing strengths in the automotive sector by providing and securing funding and R&D commitments.
techUK is excited by Wednesday’s announcement as it reflects a sense of determination towards delivering on the Government’s ambition to develop the UK into the world leader in the testing and research of CAVs.
Commitments regarding CAVs and technologies include:
- Low-carbon automotive technologies: £500 million investment through the Advanced Propulsion Centre over 10 years to research, develop and industrialise new low-carbon automotive technologies. Industry will provide matched funding for collaborative R&D projects.
- Automotive research and development: Government to invest up to £225 million from 2023-2026 to support R&D. Industry to match.
- Connected autonomous vehicle technology: Government investment to position UK as a global leader in CAVs development and deployment:
- £150 million for collaborative R&D projects
- £100 million for CAV testing infrastructure
- £15 million simulation and modelling R&D competition launching on 16 January
techUK understands that this is an important first step in the Government’s journey to shift the development of ‘Future of Mobility’ into gear, spurring “transformations which will forever change how people live, work and travel.” Infrastructure related developments, which have been allocated funding in the partnership, will require careful attention to ensure it is supportive of long term competitive capability and will support technological design of the future not thought of today.
Matthew Evans, Executive Director for techUK’s Internet of Things and Smart Infrastructure Programmes, said:
“The Sector Deal is certainly a positive step towards the end goal as it demonstrates a commitment to industry and the UK that we are on the road to becoming one of the global destinations for researching and testing CAVs. However, the full benefits of this partnership will only be realised through meaningful development of key infrastructure and capabilities such as the digital design and testing space that techUK members have called for. These will support the establishment of a world-leading testing environment capable of simulating real-world conditions, particularly relating to security, safety, and efficiency."