£75 million to build cars of the future
Automotive companies challenged to come up with engine technologies that will make cars more efficient and change the way we drive
Automotive companies are being challenged to come up with engine technologies that will make our cars more energy efficient and ultimately change the way we drive.
The £75 million fund will enable businesses to make and test low carbon technologies that will keep the UK at the forefront of engine design and help safeguard up to 30,000 jobs in engine production. They will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, and will channel £1 billion investment from government and industry to fund the development of new technologies over the next 10 years.
During a visit to Northampton, Vince Cable also announced £1.5 million for a project that will test driverless cars in a pedestrianised area for the first time.
The ‘pods’ will be able to carry 2 people and will be run on designated pathways in Milton Keynes city centre. It is planned that in 2015, an initial batch of 20 pods will be driver-operated and will run on lanes separated from pedestrians. By mid 2017, 100 pods that are fully autonomous will be running on pathways alongside people and will use sensors to avoid obstacles.
The early collaborators on the project are engineering consultancy firm Arup, Transport Systems Catapult, The Automotive Council, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
The announcements came on the day the Deputy Prime Minister challenged industry and experts to put forward innovative ways to invest £500 million to encourage more people to choose vehicles with the lowest possible emissions. In June the government announced that money would be made available to support electric cars and other vehicles that produce almost no carbon as part of its strategy to create jobs and boost economic growth, as well as tackling climate change and air quality issues.
To apply for a share of the £75 million APC fund, bidders must form a group which includes at least one vehicle manufacturer, an SME and at least one supply chain company. The competition, which will support a range of powertrain technologies, will open on the 2nd December 2013, with projects expected to begin from April 2014. For information on how to apply, visit: