The UK government is to provide grants worth £18.5m (US$23m) to British automated mobility supply chain companies as part of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility: Supply Chain competition. The investment will help 43 British companies across 13 projects seize early opportunities to develop self-driving technologies, products and services ready for the connected and automated mobility market. The 13 projects are intended to improve the safety and security of self-driving vehicles, by filling specific technology gaps and improving performance, reliability and scale-up opportunities in the UK and globally.
One of the joint government and industry funding winners was the Autonomous Cargo project, which focuses on creating an autonomous dolly for airside cargo movements. Building on previous experience with smaller baggage dollies, the project will develop a unique autonomous airside 7.5t cargo dolly. Additionally, a simulation tool will be developed to quantify the benefits of connected and automated mobility (CAM) for air cargo operations, providing operators with insights into optimal CAM vehicle types or required infrastructure modifications. The project will receive £480,000 (US$599,000) and be led by Aurrigo and UPS.
In August 2022, the UK government announced its approach to supporting the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles to deliver societal and economic benefits. It is the government’s vision that the UK will start seeing the deployments of commercially operating self-driving vehicles, improving how people and goods are moved across the nation. To turn this vision into reality, CCAV launched the Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) program to target early commercial self-driving vehicle opportunities and support the UK supply chain to grow and fill technology gaps necessary for their deployment.
On February 1, 2023, the government announced the winners of its deployments competition. Seven successful projects from around the UK will form a set of commercial, self-driving passenger and freight operations. Projects are now underway in Belfast, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Strategic Road Network, Coventry and Cambridge.
Jeremy Hunt, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, said, “From farm tractors fueled by hydrogen to rapid-charge first-responder motorcycles, these projects receiving funding today show we are not short of innovators in this country. By supporting growth in the industries of the future, including through better regulation, we are delivering on our plan to get the economy growing and make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”
Read more key vehicle/fleet updates from the parcel and postal technology industry, here.