SBRI: roads for the future for connected and autonomous vehicles

Key Features

A share of up to £200,000 is available for ideas to change road design, management and use, to maximise the benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     Up to £30k

Opens: 15th Jan 2018

Closes: 14th Mar 2018

! This scheme is now closed

The National Infrastructure Commission and Highways England are investing up to £200k. This is for innovative ideas to change how UK roads are designed, managed and used, to maximise the benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). Innovate UK is the delivery partner for this competition.

Up to £150k will be available for 5 feasibility study projects. After successful applicants have completed their projects, the best project will be awarded an additional sum of £50k.

Applications must focus on changes to roads or related infrastructure to be eligible. The changes must be directly related to the introduction of CAVs.

The competition will cover 3 broad themes:

  1. Road design, including road-related infrastructure.
  2. Traffic management.
  3. Road rules and regulations.

The aim of this competition is to generate practical ideas for how UK roads should be designed, managed and used to maximise the benefits of CAVs.

You should:

  • provide an overview of your idea
  • explain how it supports at least one anticipated benefit of CAVs
  • outline how it relates to a plausible long-term vision of how CAVs will use UK roads in 2050
  • explain how your idea is feasible, affordable and deliverable

Applications should include a project plan and methodology statement for a 3 month study. The study should demonstrate the feasibility of your idea and the benefits. You should also demonstrate how you would spend up to £30k to deliver the project.

Specific competition themes

Projects should follow one or more of these 3 broad overlapping themes:

  1. Road design, including road related infrastructure. This is the physical layout of the road, including the location and characteristics of line markings. It also includes the design and location of supporting infrastructure, such as signs, posts, gantries, crash barriers, lighting columns and so on.
  2. Traffic management. This refers to any mechanism employed by highway authorities to control or regulate traffic flow or volumes on the network. The most prominent example of this is traffic signals.
  3. Road rules and regulations. This is anything that limits driver behaviour in keeping with regulations, as defined primarily in the Highway Code. It can include speed limits and waiting or loading restrictions.


To lead a project you can:

  • be an organisation of any size, age or type
  • be an individual, as long as you are registered with Companies House at the start of the project
  • be based inside or outside the EU
  • work alone or in partnership with others as subcontractors

Your idea must be applicable to roads in the UK.

Funding and project details 

Up to £30k will be awarded for each innovation project. 5 projects are expected to be funded in total. Following completion, a further £50k will be awarded to the best project.