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Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles seeks views from potential partners to bolster case for flagship driverless vehicle test facility

Endorsed by two secretaries of state and the Cabinet Office, the government yesterday issued a Call for evidence on the UK testing ecosystem for connected and autonomous vehicles, to help build the case for further investment with the benefit of the views of industry.

The survey looks to identify any gaps and additional opportunities presented by the testing already underway. However, the main thrust of the 14 questions is to canvass the views of potential partners on a larger ‘flagship’ facility, the proposed characteristics of which is outlined by The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) in the document.

The call for evidence closes on 31 July 2016.


Views sought from across industries that could have potential be be involved

Views are requested not just from the automotive sector, but also academia, centres of excellence, local government and network operators, plus innovative companies not yet investing in the UK.

Companies could come from the gaming, telecoms, Formula 1, rail, marine, aerospace, and other sectors, as well as from the UK’s world-leading insurance, financial, and legal centres.


CCAV looking to building a case for a flagship facility and the proposition of the UK being a centre of excellence

Evidence submitted will help CCAV build its case for a national testing facility, and further develop the proposition of the UK being a leader in research and the scale of the government’s ambitions in the eyes global-scale manufacturers.

The call is being coordinated by CCAV, a body that was announced by Business Secretary Sajid Javid and Transport Minister Andrew Jones in July 2015. It is a joint policy unit, with members from both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport.

Before it's formation the government announced £19 million to fund the demonstration of driverless vehicles in four UK cities, and in the 2015 pre-election budget, the Chancellor announced a further £100 million for an Intelligent Mobility research and development fund to be matched by industry.

CCAV is now working with industry and academia to help realise the potential benefits of these technologies for UK society and the economy.

Currently, it is examining the testing ecosystem for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, including the case for an ambitious UK flagship test bed to provide both a focus for testing connected and autonomous vehicles at large scale in complex urban environments, a key recommendation from the Prime Minister’s Council of Science and Technology.

This call for evidence on the UK testing ecosystem for connected and autonomous vehicles seeks to:

  • Test, refine, and prioritise the ideal characteristics identified by the Centre’s study,
  • Identify gaps in the current UK testing ecosystem,
  • Identify opportunities to secure future competitive advantage,
  • Consider the case for a flagship, large-scale, live urban test facility,
  • Ask industry and academia to articulate what they want and need from the testing and demonstration landscape to attract and de-risk investment and ensure viability,
  • Foster opportunities for collaboration across sectors, academia, local government, network operators and to inform development of compelling, industry-led propositions,
  • Gather views on what government’s role could be in removing barriers, enabling, and accelerating the development of these technologies (this call for evidence does not create an expectation of government funding).


Opportunities to influence the scope of a second Connected and Autonomous Vehicles competition

Separately, The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is also working with Innovate UK to develop the scope of for a second Connected and Autonomous Vehicles competition, to be funded later this year from the BIS £100 million intelligent mobility fund.

Knowledge Transfer Network will be running three stakeholder workshops in the second half of June, timed to canvass a broad range of expert views. As well as providing an opportunity for influencing and fine-tuning of the competition, these workshops could well prove of value for attendees as an early chance to begin potential consortia building.

To register interest in participating in shaping the scope of this competition, please sign up on the Eventbrite form linked below.

Spaces are limited, and registration will close approximately 2 weeks prior to each event.


How to respond to the call for evidence on the UK testing ecosystem for connected and autonomous vehicles

The response form can be download (in MS Word format), and linked from the government Open Consultation:

The closing date for responses is 31 July 2016.

Completed forms should new emailed to:

Submissions can also be sent in hard copy, to: Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, 1 Victoria Street, 4th Floor, Victoria 3, London, SW1H 0ET.

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