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Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility: Mass Transit 2

General & Misc
Digital, AI & Machine Learning
Project Size:
between £50,000 and £200,000.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to invest up to £900,000. The funding is for feasibility study projects to support the CCAV ambition to progress technologies, products and services into commercial offerings.

The aim of this competition is to target early commercial self-driving vehicle opportunities and support the UK supply chain to grow and fill technology gaps necessary for their deployment.

Your proposal must identify applications and quantify the real-life potential of Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) as a commercially viable mass transit solution.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11:00am UK time on the deadline stated.

The aim of this competition is to target early commercial self-driving vehicle opportunities and support the UK supply chain to grow and fill technology gaps necessary for their deployment.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is seeking proposals where Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) will deliver a significantly more cost effective and low carbon solution than traditional public transport options. These can be for example, heavy and light rail, trams and buses.

Terminology in your application must comply with the meanings as per BSI Flex 1890 v5.0:2023-03: Connected and automated vehicles – Vocabulary

Your project must:

  • identify a new application for CAM as a mass transit solution and quantify the real-life potential of a suitable low carbon solution which is more cost effective than traditional public transport options
  • focus on passenger services, including applications where the CAM service will be utilised for logistics services in addition to the passenger services provided
  • align with the nine principles of the Future of Mobility Urban Strategy where appropriate
  • address the key issues raised in the Future of Transport: Rural Strategy - Call for Evidence and the associated Summary of Responses, where appropriate
  • consider how your passenger service could be improved or expanded in the future, for example, as technology develops, and legislation enables the use of automated vehicles on public roads
  • enhance how the public move and encourage active transport and public journeys, wherever appropriate

As part of your project you will be required to submit:

  • an interim report by 1 May 2024
  • a final report by 31 October 2024

Your passenger service can be operated on:

  • public spaces to which the public have access
  • private or segregated spaces to which the public do not have access, for example tracks and disused railway routes
  • a combination of the above

Your proposal must:

  • outline the design, delivery and operational cases for the introduction of a CAM mass transit service on a specific UK route currently underserved by public transport
  • show how the solution would solve real-life transport problems, particularly where traditional mass transit services are not deemed viable
  • include how it could be practically delivered and operated as part of a wider integrated public transport network
  • set out how and why the proposed automated vehicle service would provide better outcomes than traditional mass transit modes.

Portfolio approach
We want to fund a variety of projects across different applications, geographies and operational design domains. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific themes

Your project must focus on all of the following:

  • economic, social, and decarbonisation benefits, considering the Green Book
  • capital expenditure and operational expenditure
  • infrastructure and service delivery plan and timelines
  • commercial viability and revenue protection
  • passenger capacity, freight capacity (if relevant) and scalability of service
  • encouraging the use of public transport
  • integration into existing public transport networks, including active travel, with consideration of connected infrastructure, on demand and Mobility as a Service technologies
  • connecting underserved routes, locations, or populations to employment centres, education opportunities and larger population centres
  • ensuring safety and security, including cyber security
  • use of UK-based automation and infrastructure technologies and expertise
  • ensuring public trust in the service
  • ensuring accessibility and inclusivity of the service

Your project can consider the use of CAM:

  • on new infrastructure
  • on disused infrastructure or infrastructure that otherwise requires costly upgrades, for example rail lines
  • on roads
  • in rural, semi-rural or urban environments

You must ensure that your project will consider all legal requirements in your chosen deployment areas. It is your responsibility to take legal advice in this matter.

Research categories

We will fund feasibility studies, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding projects that:

  • are industrial research or experimental development projects
  • propose the use of automated vehicle technology on rail vehicles
  • include aircraft or waterborne craft

We cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

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