The government has announced plans to invest £22.4 million of taxpayers' money to support research into off-road, autonomous vehicle projects across the UK.
The aim is to develop the technology that can be used for autonomous vehicles in industry, as opposed to on-road usage.
Automotive Minister Richard Harrington unveiled the new fund over the weekend as part of the government's Industrial Strategy. It will support off-road self-driving vehicles targeted at the mining and construction sectors.
It will provide 22 connected and autonomous vehicle projects with funding. According to the government, the project will "boost the UK's leadership in disruptive technologies and services".
To date, the government has funded 73 self-driving vehicle projects in funding estimated at £180 million of taxpayers' money. It has also handed out more than £120 million in grants.
Currently, the connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) funding is supporting projects led by companies such as Jaguar Land Rover and Caterpillar.
For this funding, the government is targeting projects that will "allow self-driving vehicles to function in situations where weather visibility is so poor human drivers would struggle to navigate".
According to Harrington, the project will turn the UK into "a world-leader in new technologies that will boost our competitiveness".
He continued: "Through these competitions, we are offering innovative businesses support to take their projects to the next level and help them achieve commercial success.
"The projects that we are nurturing mean that we are a step closer to securing our place as a world leader in self-driving vehicles."
Harrington added that the funding will also build on the UK's existing technology and science projects.
"This significant investment is a mark of the innovation that is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.
"The development of new technologies is a cornerstone of the UK's world-class science and research and will ensure that we deliver a Britain fit for the future by creating jobs and the skills needed to succeed."
Parkopedia Limited is one of the self-driving car businesses being supported by the government. It is in the process of developing an autonomous valet parking system.
Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovate UK, said: "The quality and commercial potential of these successful projects demonstrate how UK businesses are developing pioneering connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
"The impact will benefit our thriving automotive industry and the economy as a whole."
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