Connected and autonomous vehicles 4: piloting passenger services

Key Features

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £25 million in funding to research new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies and demonstrate them in a real-world trial.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £25 million

Opens: 25th Jun 2018

Closes: 19th Sep 2018

! This scheme is now closed


The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is to invest up to £25 million in industry-led projects that develop and then ‘pilot’ CAV services at scale in a UK setting.

This competition will fund collaborative research and development projects.

They expect to fund 2 to 4 high quality projects that can demonstrate UK capability and technologies to a global audience.

Pilot studies are expected to develop and then test connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in a real-world public or semi-controlled environment, with at least a 6 month public trial. They are looking for ambitious proposals where the commercial benefit is strong and there is a clear route to a commercial operation after the project. As such, the projects should be large enough to test and demonstrate the underlying business and operating model.


Your project must be ambitious in its scale. It must be appropriate for testing and validating:

  • the technologies
  • whether the public will accept them
  • the business models which will deliver the service itself

Your project must focus on a viable business opportunity and operating model. The aim is to develop capabilities which can be introduced as services by 2020 and stay in use for a significant period of time.

Vehicles should be appropriate to the situation they are used in. Projects and trials can be either in an urban, inter-urban or rural setting, or any combination of these.

You must include social behavioural research in your project to learn more about what will help the public accept CAVs. This research must be applied to the development of your service model.

Your service model should improve the efficiency of journeys in terms of times and costs. You must explain how it will benefit users and communities and, where appropriate, link to other modes of transportation.

Your project team must include the organisations you need to develop and scale up the technology, the business model and the delivery of the service.

Your project must:

  • include a 6 to 12-month pilot, at scale, in a semi-controlled or public environment.
  • support the development of solutions for SAE level 4 automation and above
  • include a final report and a dissemination plan
  • be safe and dependable
  • show a clear route to market and detail how you plan to exploit the results of the pilot, including how services could be continued after the project with a viable business model, which could be achieved by including an end customer or local authority in the consortium
  • share what you learn with other projects including by taking part in the Innovate UK and CCAV workshops, which will be held every 6 months


To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK based business of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and third sector)

All projects must be collaborative, business led and conduct their research and development (R&D) in the UK.

To collaborate in a project you must be a UK based:

  • business of any size
  • research organisation or
  • academic organisation

Projects must last between 18 and 30 months and be completed by 31 March 2022.

Funding Costs

Total eligible project costs can range in size from £5 million to £20 million.

Your project can focus on industrial research or experimental development. This will depend on the challenge.

For industrial research, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business


They will not fund projects:

  • that do not meet the scope of this competition
  • that do not result in an on-vehicle demonstration or trial, at scale
  • that cover other modes of transport outside the automotive space, (for example rail or marine) but how CAVs interact with the wider transport system is in scope
  • where infrastructure or supporting systems are the primary cost, however costs for the supporting systems required to enable vehicle technology are eligible