Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility: Mass Transit 2

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £900,000 for feasibility studies into the use of connected and automated mobility as a mass transit solution. This funding is from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £900,000

Opens: 25th May 2023

Closes: 19th Jul 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to invest up to £900,000. The funding is for feasibility study projects to support the CCAV ambition to progress technologies, products and services into commercial offerings.


The aim of this competition is to target early commercial self-driving vehicle opportunities and support the UK supply chain to grow and fill technology gaps necessary for their deployment.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is seeking proposals where Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) will deliver a significantly more cost effective and low carbon solution than traditional public transport options. These can be for example, heavy and light rail, trams and buses.

Terminology in your application must comply with the meanings as per BSI Flex 1890 v5.0:2023-03: Connected and automated vehicles – Vocabulary

Your project must:

  • identify a new application for CAM as a mass transit solution and quantify the real-life potential of a suitable low carbon solution which is more cost effective than traditional public transport options
  • focus on passenger services, including applications where the CAM service will be utilised for logistics services in addition to the passenger services provided
  • align with the nine principles of the Future of Mobility Urban Strategy where appropriate
  • address the key issues raised in the Future of Transport: Rural Strategy – Call for Evidence and the associated Summary of Responses, where appropriate
  • consider how your passenger service could be improved or expanded in the future, for example, as technology develops, and legislation enables the use of automated vehicles on public roads
  • enhance how the public move and encourage active transport and public journeys, wherever appropriate

As part of your project you will be required to submit:

  • an interim report by 1 May 2024
  • a final report by 31 October 2024

Your passenger service can be operated on:

  • public spaces to which the public have access
  • private or segregated spaces to which the public do not have access, for example tracks and disused railway routes
  • a combination of the above

Your proposal must:

  • outline the design, delivery and operational cases for the introduction of a CAM mass transit service on a specific UK route currently underserved by public transport
  • show how the solution would solve real-life transport problems, particularly where traditional mass transit services are not deemed viable
  • include how it could be practically delivered and operated as part of a wider integrated public transport network
  • set out how and why the proposed automated vehicle service would provide better outcomes than traditional mass transit modes.

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on all of the following:

  • economic, social, and decarbonisation benefits, considering the Green Book
  • capital expenditure and operational expenditure
  • infrastructure and service delivery plan and timelines
  • commercial viability and revenue protection
  • passenger capacity, freight capacity (if relevant) and scalability of service
  • encouraging the use of public transport
  • integration into existing public transport networks, including active travel, with consideration of connected infrastructure, on demand and Mobility as a Service technologies
  • connecting underserved routes, locations, or populations to employment centres, education opportunities and larger population centres
  • ensuring safety and security, including cyber security
  • use of UK-based automation and infrastructure technologies and expertise
  • ensuring public trust in the service
  • ensuring accessibility and inclusivity of the service

Your project can consider the use of CAM:

  • on new infrastructure
  • on disused infrastructure or infrastructure that otherwise requires costly upgrades, for example rail lines
  • on roads
  • in rural, semi-rural or urban environments

You must ensure that your project will consider all legal requirements in your chosen deployment areas. It is your responsibility to take legal advice in this matter.


Your project must:

  • have total costs/a grant funding request between £50,000 and £200,000
  • start by 1 December 2023
  • end by 31 October 2024
  • last between 5 and 11 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • work with Department for Transport (DfT) and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to ensure compatibility with regulatory requirements

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, research technology organisation (RTO), transport related charity or public sector organisation (local authority or transport authority)
  • collaborate with at least one other eligible, grant claiming, UK registered organisation

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Your project must include a connected & automated mobility (CAM) technology provider or an infrastructure provider.

Your project needs to demonstrate support and buy-in by a local or regional authority or a local or regional transport authority. This could be demonstrated either with the inclusion of the organisation in the project team or through a letter of support. The local or regional authority or a local or regional transport authority will be required to demonstrate endorsement of the interim report and final report generated by the study.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and not exceed 30% of the projects total grant requested.

A business, research organisation, RTO, transport related charity or public sector organisation, can only lead on one application. If leading it can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

An eligible organisation not leading an application, can collaborate in any number of applications.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are industrial research or experimental development projects
  • propose the use of automated vehicle technology on rail vehicles
  • include aircraft or waterborne craft

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £900,000 has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.