AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES: U.K. cities vying for three self-driving-vehicle test sites

British government putting up $16.9 million pot for cities to bid on

July 31, 2014

Up to three cities in the U.K. will have the opportunity to play host to self-driving-vehicle researchers thanks to a new competition enacted by the British government. If all goes according to plan, testing is scheduled to begin in less than six months.

The British government is offering a total of $16.9 million for interested cities to allow testing of self-driving vehicles on public roads. Under the terms of the competition, interested cities will have to bid for a share of the total government funding. Government officials are encouraging municipalities to partner with private entities—including businesses and researchers—to help create their proposals.

According to the British government, once trails begin they will run between 18 and 36 months. Testing will focus on both types of self-driving vehicles—those that are completely autonomous and those that allow a driver to take control of the vehicle.