back to article lobs £25m at self-driving, self-parking, self-selling auto autos

The British government is offering up £25m for a half dozen industrial projects designed to test self-driving – and self-parking – car technology. The Meridian project will fund up to six infrastructure projects to "develop connected and autonomous vehicle testing infrastructure for automated parking and interurban automated …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "accessible and shareable" while "maintaining privacy'"

    'which sounds like someone's trying to please everyone simultaneously.'

    Yeah, could have been written by teflon Facebook CEO / President Zuk!

  2. Chronos

    Self-driving, self parking, self selling autonomous vehicles.

    They're called "taxis." We've had them for years. The AI is a bit suspect with its views on immigration, party politics and penchant for taking "shortcuts" which aren't, as evidenced by the meter reading at the end of the journey, but they tend to work quite well.

    1. justAnITGuy

      Re: Self-driving, self parking, self selling autonomous vehicles.

      And yet the incumbent don't work 24x7 in all areas of the country. Anyhoo, we had Hansom cabs for years also and they were replaced with something else [better?]. Time marches on and all that stuff.

  3. Blockchain commentard

    So the US is winding down self-steerers and we're starting up. Wonder how many crashes/fatalities it'll take before someone realises AI in cars is a bad idea. Always was, always will be. Imagine how dull (or duller) F1 would be with AI drivers.

  4. Herring`


    If we ever reached the point of having reliable 100% autonomous vehicles, well something struck me. At the moment, if you're stuck in traffic, you have a look around and see how many cars - taking up a load of road space - have only one person on board. Well if cars can drop people off right outside work and then go home or go elsewhere to park, we're going to have a load more vehicles taking up road space that have no people at all on board.

    1. Dr_N

      Re: Jam

      >we're going to have a load more vehicles taking up road space that have no people at all on board.

      Not if they know exactly where a free parking slot is.

      Some studies suggested that already up to 30% of urban traffic is people circulating looking for a parking place.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Jam

        >Not if they know exactly where a free parking slot is.

        Trouble is that they are still working on the reservation algorithm, so still get a herd of self-driving/parking cars descend on a single free parking slot...

  5. SVV

    Data marketplace

    Congratulations to the person who bolted this zingy sounding non-idea onto the proposal, and therefore managed to extract 25 million from a clueless government by combining the words data and market and watching them go all weak at the knees as a prospect that seemed to combine tech modernity and free markets made them switch off their brains instead of asking "what the fuck are you talking about?".

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Data marketplace

      Obviously a place where all of the SlurpTech (TM) in the Autonomous Automobiles (Auto^2 (TM)) can be bought and sold by interested parties.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data marketplace

      There's a data marketplace near me, opens Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday. Last time I went some shady guy in a trench coat offered me a couple of gig of logins for a fiver.

    3. Chronos

      Re: Data marketplace

      Um, instant access to all travel data on everyone? Data fetishism much?

      Seriously, we need to start playing Littlefinger's game: What's the worst reason they could possibly have for doing what they do?

  6. Teiwaz

    government's aspirations for the UK to become a world leader in autonomous vehicle technology

    Better to be concentrating on autonomous fruit pickers right now...

  7. deeredd

    Big money

    Could they have promised any less money?

    The actual players are spending billions, Renault is spending 25 mil on just a simulator.

    Given the govt is busy destroying the UK car industry what's the point of this other than pr?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Autonomous Anti Orange Clockworkist Ideas needed

    These things needs serious self-defense mechanism to keep disgruntled and randomly violent people at bay.

    Pepper spray, tasers, a little watercannon?

    1. Stephen 24

      Re: Autonomous Anti Orange Clockworkist Ideas needed

      Well, the car they've been testing with around the car park at the University of the West of England has a number plate with the letters "BAE". I'm wondering if they've been sponsored by Bristol's premier weapons manufacturer. And if so, what their end game is - vehicle based drones? Weapon payload delivery by car?

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    Self parking car

    I would be up for that.

    Streets seem to be full of huge cars, bigger than vans used to be years back

    With old age creeping up (hence being able to remember vans smaller than modern breeds of Chelsea tractors) it's painful (literally) doing all head turning to manouvere into tight spaces without hitting anything, so self parking would be good

  10. Lorribot

    How do self driving cars deal with potholes?

    And speed bumps. The one in the picture looks like it has bodywork so low that it would get stuck in some of the pot holes where i live or beach on top of some the speed bumps, it would need special pot hole/speed bump detection equipment, perhaps it could ask Alexa how to fix the pot hole as well.

  11. g00se2


    <i>A self-driving vehicle of the type that was being tested in Greenwich, London, earlier this year.</i>

    Looks like a giant woodlouse wearing 'elevators'

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