Back to Blogs
Blog Img

The Largest Connected Vehicle Projects in the UK & Europe

The UK and Europe are spear heading a host of ambitious Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) testing projects, ones that are poised to revolutionise transportation. Connected vehicles not only push the boundaries of technology but also promise to create a plethora of job opportunities, driving demand for autonomous vehicle engineers, software developers and project managers across Europe and the UK. 

The UK and Europe - A Hot Bed for CAV Ingenuity & New Jobs

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, here’s a quick explainer: CAVs are equipped with technologies that enable communication with other vehicles, infrastructure and external systems, in addition to autonomy features that allow them to operate with varying degrees of self-driving capability.

CAV testing focuses on the development and deployment of autonomous cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles, with the goal of reducing accidents, alleviating traffic congestion and improving transportation efficiency.

The UK is at the forefront of CAV testing with the CAM Testbed UK, the only facility in the world that can take ideas from concept to development, both virtually and physically, all within a 3-hour drive.

In addition, regulatory approval was recently granted to Ford to allow use of its partial autonomous vehicle software, BlueCruise, on specific UK motorways. It’s previously only been approved for use in the US and Canada. 

Ford describes BlueCruise as “hands-off, eyes-on” technology that monitors road markings, speed signs and traffic conditions to control steering, acceleration, braking and lane positioning, whilst also checking for driver attentiveness. 

There is no doubt the UK government has a firm focus on self-driving vehicles, investing over £100m into the industry. This is underpinned by its market forecast that in 2035, 40% of new UK car sales could have self-driving capabilities, with a total market value of £41.7 billion. This will create almost 23,500 direct jobs in CAVtechnology, with a further 14,600 indirect jobs created in the supply chain.

The vast majority of these new jobs are expected to be in professional, technical and skilled trade occupations, from software developers and autonomous vehicle engineers to those in production, i.e. making CAV hardware such as sensors.

Automotive engineers who possess cross-domain and transferable skills will be in the greatest demand, with employers fiercely competing to attract them. We expect those with AI, machine learning and robotics knowledge to be highly coveted, as well as those who possess that unique cache of soft skills encompassing an experimentation mind-set, resilience and agility.

Let’s now take a closer look at some of the largest testing projects for connected vehicles across the UK and Europe.


Total funding- over £197 million

30+ investors including Microsoft, Virgin, Eclipse & Ocado

Wayve is a UK-based start-up developing AI technology for autonomous vehicles. Their aim is to create self-driving cars that can navigate real-world environments without relying on pre-mapped routes or sensor arrays, as well as teaching cars to drive as a human would– through experience and observation. 

Using their ‘AV2.0’ technology, Wayve wants to be the first company to deploy self-driving vehicles in 100 cities globally. Right now, they’re testing their self-driving technology daily on UK roads. They’re also in the middle of a year-long and trial with Asda to autonomously deliver groceries to more than 170,000 residents across 72,000 homes. It’s the largest trial of its kind in the UK.

Project Cambridge Connector

Total funding - £17.4 million (£8.7 million of which is government awarded)

Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council are delivering this exciting self-drive trial. 

Currently in operation, 13 self-driving vehicles are providing passenger services around the Cambridge Biomedical and the University's West Cambridge campus using a private 5G network to ensure service continuity. It’s been designed as an adjunct to existing city transport services.

During the trial, the vehicles have a safety driver on board but the aim is for them to operate without one while being remotely monitored in future.

Horizon Europe ULTIMO project

Budget - £47.87 million (made up of £20.72 EU-funding & £15.5 from Swiss Confederation)

A truly European collaboration with eight countries involved, the Horizon Europe ULTIMO project is a driverless electric minibus service undertaking a trial run across Geneva, Kronach and Oslo. 

Each locale will have 15 or more vehicles per site, integrating them with existing public transport services. The aim is for them to operate in a fully-automated mode, with on-demand and door-to-door services that will be more sustainable, accessible and inclusive. 

The first trials began in October and November 2023, with the project set to run until September 2026.

Conigital - Multi-Area Connected Automated Mobility 

Total funding – £15.2 million

This project involves establishing a remote driving control hub that oversees self-driving vehicles operating in Solihull and Coventry, specifically servicing Birmingham International rail station, the NEC and Birmingham Business Park, and Coventry University. They’ll not only provide passenger services, but also logistics services across two sites.

The vehicles will be supported by a 5G-based, Remote Monitoring and Tele-Operation (RMTO) service, overseeing and controlling them (if required). 

Stagecoach - CAVForth II

Total funding - £10.4 million (part government funded)

The original CAVForth project resulted in the first full-size five passenger-carrying autonomous bus service launching last May in Scotland.

Now the joint venture between Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis, Fusion Processing, Transport Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Bristol Robotics Lab, sees the expansion with new trials taking place in Cambridge and Sunderland, with the original Scottish route extended. 

The expanded route is significant, it as will involve more complex autonomous driving scenarios as well as city centre traffic. 


Total funding - £12m (£6.6m government funded)

A unique project aimed at the transport sector, the Hub2Hub conglomerate in partnership with major supermarket retailer Asda aim to build a self-driving and emission-free heavy goods tractor unit, potentially revolutionising the long-distance haulage sector.

If the trial is successful, the autonomous hydrogen-electric tractor could play a huge part in reducing costs, not mention decarbonising one of the highest polluting industries; transport and logistics.

An Exciting Future for Autonomous Vehicle Engineers 

These connected vehicles projects merely scratch the surface; there are numerous others on the go or in the planning stages. It’s certainly an exciting time for those in the automotive engineering sector, with these projects set to create a wealth of new automotive engineering and design jobs.

If you’re ready to see what role you can play in the future of connected vehicles and autonomous driving, please connect with one of our Fields & Rudd specialists, your expert recruitment partner for the CAV sector.