Tuesday , 19 June 2018
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UK government shoves a multi-million grant at driverless cars

CAR DRIVERS BE AWARE. If you want to enjoy the human experience that is driving in London against people, then you better get in your car and start driving around and around Marble Arch because soon the roads will be stuffed with cars that do not have people in them. Well, not any drivers anyway.

The government does seem rather keen on driverless cars and it has enabled testing on actual streets and bunged some money in the direction of their development.

Those MPs are at it again, and have awarded an outfit called the StreetWise consortium £12.8m towards a project that will cost £32m and should start delivering driverless vehicles in 2019.

Though StreetWise makes it sound like a cycling proficiency test it is actually a sort of power pack of interested parties. Flipping their caps to the back and calling each other dawg for the purposes of the project are FiveAI, the University of Oxford, TRL Limited Transport for London) and the insurance provider the Direct Line Group.

They won the cash in the UK government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles “CAV2” competition.

“We’re delighted to have been awarded the CAV2 grant., It’s great to be a beneficiary of the strong support that the Government is offering to the emerging autonomous vehicle industry here in the UK,” said ,” said Stan Boland, CEO of FiveAI.

“Autonomous vehicles represent a huge opportunity for UK technology companies, service operators and insurers where we can look to become a technology leader and catch up with countries such as the US, Germany and Sweden that have already staked their claim in the market.”

The consortium is expecting to have a road certified fleet of cars ready by 2019. The time in between will be spent making them work, and be safe and smart.

The government, that annoying little trickster that it is gets a nice mention too. We will let it have its moment.

“The UK has built up excellent academic expertise in the field of artificial intelligence, an essential component to autonomous vehicle technology. Keeping that talent in the UK and focusing enough of it on the automotive space is a serious challenge, since much of it is being hired to work for US companies either on different projects in the UK or on automotive projects in the US or Europe,” added Boland.

“Through this new funding and support, the government is doing its part and it’s now up to UK businesses like FiveAI to step-up to define this emerging market and ensure that the UK becomes a world-leader in this technology and is well positioned to reap the economic benefits.”

2019 people. 2019. µ

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