The UK government has allocated £20m to fund research projects looking to bring driverless transport to Britain’s roads.
One of the projects will use the money to equip over 40 miles of urban roads, dual-carriageways and motorways with a combination of three ‘talking car technologies’ and test for a fourth, known as LTE-V.
The venture will establish how this technology can improve journeys; reduce traffic congestion; and provide entertainment and safety services through better connectivity
Another scheme receiving funding is developing driverless shuttles with advanced sensors and control systems which will be trialled in city pedestrian areas, with a focus on improving urban accessibility for disabled and visually-impaired people.
The investment has been hailed as a ‘landmark moment’ for UK research and development in the sector.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes said the development of new technology has the potential to save thousands of lives and generate 320,000 jobs as well as £51bn for the UK economy.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "These projects will help profoundly change the way we travel within years, transforming our roads by making travel a simpler experience for drivers, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly.
"They will also bring great benefits to our society and the wider economy by opening up new routes for global investment.
"This is a landmark moment and will allow Britain to lead the way in the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles."
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Cars of the future will be equipped with the technologies that will make getting from A to B safer, faster, and cleaner.”
The funding is designed to increase the UK’s prominence in the intelligent mobility market which is estimated to be worth £900bn per year globally by 2025.
The UK government recently announced a £40m investment to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure and consumer uptake in Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London.