Meridian 3: autonomous highway, rural and parking test facilities

Key Features

UK businesses and research and technology organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million to create the second phase of the UK connected and autonomous vehicle test ‘ecosystem’.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £25 million

Opens: 4th Jun 2018

Closes: 5th Sep 2018

! This scheme is now closed


The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will invest up to £25 million in partnership with Meridian Mobility and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. This is to develop CAV testing infrastructure for autonomous parking and autonomous driving on rural roads and highways.

The aim is to create the world’s most effective CAV testing ecosystem. This should be located in the defined geographical area, between the West Midlands and the South East as detailed in the competition scope.

CCAV expects to support up to 6 projects. Preference is given to projects that prove they can deliver operational facilities that complement or build on existing facilities within the UK CAV eco system.


  • Your proposal must work with existing automotive test facilities, proving grounds and public road test sites across the Midlands and South East.
  • It must improve existing capabilities and create new ones.
  • All projects to complement and integrate with the existing Meridian test facilities funded in 2017.

Your project must be globally significant and allow for:

  • testing of autonomous vehicles in appropriate, realistic and increasingly challenging environments
  • connectivity capabilities and methodologies that allow for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) testing
  • testing of equipment that may interact with CAVs, for example, roadside infrastructure.

Your project must provide core infrastructure that can support modular units to test different equipment. It must be ‘future proofed’ as far as possible.

Your proposal must include test scenarios supported by a business model. Explain how the test facility will replicate as many scenarios as possible (ideally every possible scenario).


You must follow one of the 4 themes:

  1. Controlled test environments for highways: we are looking to fund one controlled test facility that represents highways and the common features of road junctions.
  2. Continuous public test environments: we are looking to fund 1 or 2 continuous public test environments, including highways and rural roads which connect to existing urban test sites.
  3. Controlled parking test environment: we are looking to fund a realistic, controlled test facility representative of the current and future infrastructure needed for automated parking.
  4. Public parking test environments: we are looking to fund 1 or 2 public test environments focused on developing the infrastructure needed for autonomous parking.


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out your project work in the UK, delivering a facility in the defined geographical area
  • commit to exploit the results from the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Project Funding

CCAV have allocated up to £25 million to fund up to 6 infrastructure projects in this competition.

They anticipate that the funding will be split as follows:

  • up to £4 million to support one controlled test environment project
  • up to £16 million to support up to 2 continuous public test environment projects
  • up to £2 million to support one controlled parking test facility project
  • up to £3 million to support up to 2 public parking test environment projects

You may apply for funding support of:

  • up to 50% of your eligible project costs if you are a business of any size
  • up to 100% of your eligible project costs if you are a non-profit distributing research organisation.

Non-profit distributing research organisations must demonstrate how match-funded investment will be contributed. It must at least equal the grant funding and can include maintenance costs. We will give preference to projects that meet match funding within the 12 to 18 month build phase.

Your project must have:

  • at least a 30% industry contribution to the initial investment
  • at least a 50% industry contribution up to 10 years from the start of operation


In this competition, they are not funding:

  • projects that do not meet the scope of this competition
  • crash and extreme condition handling facilities
  • emissions testing, which should be managed separately or can be included but will not be eligible for funding
  • facilities which substantially replicate existing facilities
  • industrial research, experimental development or feasibility study projects