£30m deal that will make Coventry the Global leader for driverless cars


The region is seeking to strengthen its position as a global leader developing connected and autonomous vehicle technology


Coventry and Warwickshire's place at the forefront of developing the cars of the future has been boosted after the Government gave the green light to a new test facility and the testing of driverless cars on public roads.

In all, four projects have secured government funding totalling £51million, with private sector investment boosting that figure to £80m.

Of the four projects, two are in Coventry and Warwickshire as the region seeks to strengthen its position as a global leader developing connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

HORIBA MIRA and Coventry University have secured £13million of government funding to establish a new connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing operation in Nuneaton .

In addition WMG at the University of Warwick has been awarded £17.6million to set up real world test environments in Coventry and Birmingham.

HORIBA MIRA and Coventry University will create the Trusted Intelligent Connected Autonomous Vehicle consortium - known as TIC-IT - as part of a £26million project.

The TIC-IT consortium will receive grant funding from Innovate UK to establish a vital piece of testing infrastructure.

Built on HORIBA MIRA's Proving Ground alongside its existing tracks, it will see the creation of a purpose built realistic, safe environment for testing CAVs to their limits.

Such testing is seen as critical in establishing consumer confidence in the technologies.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "Combining ambitious new technologies and innovative business models to address social and economic challenges lies at the heart of the Government's modern Industrial Strategy.

"Accelerating connected and autonomous vehicle technology development is central to achieving this ambition and will help to ensure the UK is one of the world's go-to locations to develop this sector.

Dr Geoff Davis, chief strategy officer at HORIBA MIRA said: "Developed in partnership with Coventry University, the new facility will bring a unique testing capability to the UK, allowing us to increase the level of activity required to develop CAVs to ensure they are safe and secure for real-world environments."

Paul Noon, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for enterprise and innovation at Coventry University, said: "It is very encouraging that government supports our view that collaboration between academia and industry is vitally important."

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street also welcomed today's news and said the public should embrace the technology at the heart of it.

Mr Street, a passionate advocate of testing on public roads, said: "Dr Ralf Speth, the CEO of JLR , is fond of saying the automotive industry will change more in the next five years than the last 50.

"It is important that society as a whole is ready for the changes technology will bring to mobility.

"That is why I campaigned to support efforts to make West Midlands roads available for the safe testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.

"The West Midlands is already emerging as a global centre for this industry but if we are to become the outright leader, we need to ensure testing can take place close to the design and manufacture.

"This is a bold step for the West Midlands and offers us not only a golden opportunity for our region's economy, but could genuinely help change the world."

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£30m deal that will make Coventry the Global leader for driverless cars
Modified on Thursday 19th October 2017
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