The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest a total of up to £1.5million for up to three automated vehicle projects.

The aim of this competition is to continue development of technologies and assurance processes to enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Funding is offered for the development of technologies applicable to either passenger services, freight services or both, intended for future deployment on public roads.

Key findings must be reported to the Department for Transport to inform its work on developing a safety assurance process. Reporting must be made principally via CCAV.

Due to the nature of the competition, it is highly likely that trialling in a closed environment will be necessary. As such we strongly recommend that projects consider the use of CAM Testbed UK facilities during testing phase. Any trials on public roads must not carry passengers.

Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs between £25,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 October 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022
  • last between 3 and 6 months

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

If the lead organisation is an RTO or a research organisation it must collaborate with at least 1 business of any size.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO), and must work and exploit results in the UK as above.

A business, research organisation or RTO can only lead on one application and collaborate on a further three. If an RTO is not leading an application, it can collaborate in any number of applications. An academic institution can collaborate on any number of applications.


The aim of this competition is to enable applicants to further develop technologies and assurance processes enabling the safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Funding is offered to enable applicants to continue development of technologies and assurance processes to enable safe use of fully automated vehicles.

Your project must:

  • focus on both technologies and assurance processes
  • describe the barriers to adoption that the technology under investigation will overcome
  • describe your compliance with existing regulations and standards
  • describe how you will provide assurance if your technology does not comply with existing regulation
  • build upon an existing ADS which has been developed and demonstrated to function on the UK public roads under the UK Code of Practice: Automated vehicle trialling (Feb 2019)
  • define the intended boundary of responsibilities between the developer and the operator or service provider for the technical subject of the project
  • progress your technologies, understanding and skills towards the goal of trialling automated vehicles on UK roads which do not rely on a safety driver within the vehicle
  • monitor the automated driving system (ADS) in use
  • explore the practical application of in-use monitoring of the ADS as a means of assessing the safety of advanced automated vehicle deployment
  • have a clear, existing safety case, which may evolve during the project
  • identify scenarios and record number of incidences where safety driver intervention is required
  • support the development of Government’s safety and security assurance process for connected and automated vehicles (CAVPASS), for example through data sharing or provision of workshops
  • develop a clear plan for the future steps required to achieve the goal of trialling on UK roads without a safety driver within the vehicle
  • present the rationale and outcomes of your project to the DfT, the Government’s CAVPASS project teams and Innovate UK
  • have quantified deliverables by end of March 2022
  • be delivered in the financial year to April 2022

You must be available to attend workshops to share lessons learnt with the Department for Transport (DfT). You must accommodate observer days for the DfT, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and possibly other government stakeholders. Observer days are to improve their understanding of the technology and assurance needs.

Vehicles must be road legal and may be of any size and use any legal power source, but zero emission vehicles are preferred. Safety drivers must be used within the vehicle during the project. Any trials on public roads must not carry passengers.

Applications must clearly demonstrate how they will anchor IP generated by the project in the UK and how it will be exploited for the benefit of the UK supply chain in the future.

Your project can focus on one or more of these themes:

  • automated driving system (ADS) development, to reduce safety driver intervention requirements
  • sensing and perception system development to reduce safety driver intervention requirements
  • remote monitoring or remote operation
  • scenario development or scenario application for intended deployment area
  • strategies for coping with scenarios which exceed operational design domain
  • automated incident detection (including “near misses”), automated monitoring and associated data handling

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

An online briefing was held on 1st July. A recording will be available from KTN in the next few days.

If you would like help to find a project partner, contact KTN’s Transport team.