The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is a joint Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Transport (DfT) unit. Established in 2015, CCAV is an expert policy unit that is working with industry and academia to make every-day journeys safer, greener, more efficient, and more inclusive. To do this, CCAV is shaping the safe and secure introduction of self-driving vehicles and services on UK roads and leading the government’s wider Future of Transport programme.

In 2022 CCAV launched two streams of funding to invest up to £41.5 million in innovation projects. The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and partners were successful in their bids into both streams: Mass Transit and Deployment.

Read the news release that went out on 1 February 2023 to announce both projects and find out more about Deployment on the Project Connector page. Both project pages will be updated as the work progresses.

Cambridge Autonomous Rapid Transport

Partners: Greater Cambridge Partnership, ARUP and Costain

Funding: Total project cost is £153,548 with a grant of £92,474 from CCAV

The funding will explore how Connected and Autonomous Mass Transit (CAMT) could be implemented in Cambridge to solve its complex transport problems.

The proposed corridor would enable connections from new developments in the east of Cambridge, including a new Park & Ride, to the rail network at Cambridge Station, with onward links to key employment locations south of Cambridge, London and beyond, effectively widening the pool of talent on which Cambridge’s continued success relies. The study area is significant in the region and could make a major contribution to economic growth and, if connected in the right way and developed sustainably, to achieve net zero objectives. Cambridge is also the right location to test innovative technology, with many AV providers already developing and testing new technology locally.

Through GCP and their ongoing Eastern Access project, there is an opportunity to demonstrate how, through a phased approach, we can evolve seamlessly from traditional Public Transport (PT)/ Mass Transit solutions to advancements utilising CAMT across the transport system in Cambridge and further afield. The work will deliver:

Stage 1: Technical Feasibility Development – this will be undertaken independently of the competition and is funded by Arup. This stage focuses on the application of CAMT for mass transit and includes market sounding to better understand vehicle and infrastructure interaction, vehicle specifications and benchmarking of CAMT against current mass transit solutions.

Stage 2: Collaborative Concept Feasibility Testing – will seek to demonstrate that CAMT is (a) the best overall solution to meeting the need and challenge and (b) a justified investment.

Stage 3: Scheme Definition – will deliver a high-level assessment of different commercial and operational options for the potential scheme and ensure it can be delivered.