Science Vale,

The RACE is on for driverless cars

News that ground-breaking transport technology being pioneered in Oxfordshire has won a share of a £51million government prize has been welcomed by two council leaders.

World leading science and technology

Oxfordshire is home to Science Vale UK and some world leading science and technology companies who are blazing a trail towards more energy efficient and road safety.

Organisations based in the Science Vale are working on pioneering projects such as autonomous cars and smart traffic management systems needed to support people travelling around the county.

Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE), which is based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, is to receive £6.9m from the Department of Transport towards their £10million project to set up a range of different test areas mimicking increasingly realistic city driving environments, where automated vehicles can be tested before being taken onto public roads.

They are one of a number of companies that Oxfordshire County Council and South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils works with to drive progress on future transport technology.

Representing the future of transport

County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Driverless vehicles undoubtedly represent the future of transport and the fact that this technology is being pioneered in Oxfordshire is very exciting.

“We welcome continued support from the government into the research and development sectors in Oxfordshire as it is clearly a major centre for Driverless Car technology and development.

“The work being done by RACE will allow Oxfordshire and UK companies in this sector access to unique real world test facilities. As a proactive county council that is already establishing itself as a leading authority in the field of Smart transport and driverless technology I am delighted with this funding.”

20,000 jobs for the area in next 15 years

Councillor John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council said, “RACE is a fantastic organisation renowned for its excellence in robotic engineering. We are delighted they have received central government funding to develop and test their autonomous cars in our district.

"Autonomous cars are not as far away as many people think and land allocation for them is already being put in place for areas such as Didcot Garden Town.

“Science Vale UK is an exciting place to be and we anticipate organisations with innovative projects such as this will help to create an additional 20,000 jobs in the next 15 years in our region.”