The government is providing £20m of funding for collaborative research and development into driverless vehicles, along with a code of practice for testing.
It is hoped that the measures, announced by business secretary, Sajid Javid, and transport minister, Andrew Jones, will put the UK at the forefront of the intelligent mobility market, expected to be worth £900bn by 2025.
Mr Jones said: “Driverless cars will bring great benefits to our society and economy and I want the UK to lead the way in developing this exciting technology. Our code of practice clearly shows that the UK is in the best position when it comes to testing driverless cars and embracing the motoring of the future.”
The government is seeking bidders to put forward proposals for projects investigating safety, reliability, how vehicles can communicate with each other and the environment around them. Successful bidders will be expected to match fund the projects with their own money.
While most of the funding will be allocated to large research and development projects, £2.5m has been ring-fenced for smaller feasibility studies.
Trials of driverless cars are already being carried out in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry.