Driverless cars to test for potholes and clean streets


Amey plans to build a protoype of an autonomous vehicle that can check for potholes as well as carry out tasks such as grass cutting and street cleaning.

Other key projects announced today will test ‘platooning’ and the ability of autonomous vehicles to move people around public facilities such as hospitals and shopping areas.

Driverless cars 'platooning' on a race track

Amey won £250,000 from the Government to build the prototype, which will provide real-time data through sensors on the surrounding environment including the condition of street furniture, bridges or the road surface.

The Government unveiled winners from the second round of its connected autonomous vehicles competition (CAV2) today, with 24 projects winning a share of £31m, match funded by industry.

The funding is part of a nearly £110m to help develop new low-carbon and driverless vehicles as part of the Industrial Strategy.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: ‘Low carbon and driverless cars are the future and as a Government we are determined through the Industrial Strategy to build on our strengths and put the UK at the forefront of this revolution.

‘The projects being awarded funding today will help extend our excellence in these cutting edge research fields, helping to safeguard jobs while ensuring the UK remains the go-to destination for automotive excellence.’

Another scheme funded under CAV2 was the £5m Project Synergy, which will trial platooning on three autonomous, electric Westfield GTM cars on public roads in Greater Manchester from next January as part of a three-year research study.

The vehicles will be tested at speeds of up to 70mph and as little as a couple of metres apart to see whether self-driving vehicles can effectively reduce congestion, emissions and pollution.

Meanwhile the AECOM-led CAPRI consortium has secured more than £4.2m of funding from Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to deliver a pilot scheme that could pave the way for the use of connected and autonomous vehicles to move people around airports, hospitals, business parks, shopping and tourist centres.

The pilot project includes the design, development and testing of new autonomous and connected pods on-demand (PODs), culminating in on-road public trials at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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