New £75m fund for low-carbon vehicle technologies

7 November 2013
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
An computer generated image of the new driverless pod project in Milton Keynes

An computer generated image of the new driverless pod project in Milton Keynes

Automotive companies are being offered a slice of £75m to come up with new low-carbon engine technologies.

During a visit to Northampton today, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a new £75m fund to support a limited number of pre-production projects that will strengthen the UK’s capability and develop its supply chain in the field of low-carbon vehicles.

Those selected will be the pilot projects of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), which was announced in July, with those entering the competition required to form a group which includes at least one vehicle manufacturer, an SME and at least one supply chain company.

Projects are expected to begin from April 2014 and will have to deliver significant emissions reductions compared to the current best-in-class technologies using primarily on-vehicle powertrain technologies, as opposed to off-vehicle technologies such as charging infrastructure.

Cable said: “By 2050, very few, if any, new cars will be powered solely by the traditional internal combustion engines, so it is important that the UK car industry is at the cutting-edge of low-carbon technologies.

“The Advanced Propulsion Centre, launched as part of our industrial strategy, will help to position the UK as a leading innovator while securing jobs and strengthening supply chains.”

During his visit, Cable also announced £1.5m of government funding for a project in Milton Keynes that will test driverless cars in a pedestrianised area for the first time.

The £2-a-trip battery-powered ‘pods’ will be able to carry two people and reach speeds of 12mph. They will be hailed and paid for via a mobile phone app and will use GPS technology and sensors to steer around objects, people and each other.

An initial batch of 20 pods to be introduced in 2015 will be driver-operated and will run on lanes separated from pedestrians in Milton Keynes city centre, but by mid-2017 100 pods that are fully autonomous will be running on pathways alongside people.

“Driverless cars are another invention that have the potential to generate the kind of high-skilled jobs we want Britain to be famous for, as well as cutting congestion and pollution and improving road safety,” said Cable.

The early collaborators on the project are engineering consultancy firm Arup, Transport Systems Catapult, The Automotive Council, and Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

John Miles, programme director and Arup Consultant, said: “With the continually increasing number of people living in cities, city authorities are facing some real challenges with regards to ensuring future levels of mobility.

“This project has the potential to deliver a truly autonomous low-carbon transport option within the context of a city centre and we’re delighted to be using this funding to take the project into the first stages of design.

The competition to find the pilot projects for the APC opens on 2 December 2013 and will be run by the Technology Strategy Board. Visit the Technology Strategy Board website for more information.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Control Engineer

    Bank of England
    • Debden
    • Competitive

    We’re looking for a qualified engineer with experience of computer programming for engineering systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Bank of England

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶


Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T