Companies are being invited to compete for £30m of funding to support the development of self-driving vehicles on UK roads, business minister Richard Harrington has announced.

Funded through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian, the Government’s hub for testing autonomous technology, the competition I intended to support the Government’s ambition to see fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021.

Up to £5m will be awarded to projects developing and testing autonomous parking technology. This technology will allow self-driving cars to park in a range of different environments without human intervention.

The money will also fund two public-testing sites for self-driving cars in urban settings, which the minister claimed would be the first of their kind in Europe, ensuring that connected and autonomous vehicles become a normal feature on UK roads.

He said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way we move people and goods across the UK. They also support our ambition for a cleaner, greener future as part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

“The UK is already leading the way in developing this technology and today’s funding will bring self-driving vehicles one step closer to becoming a normal feature on UK roads and could, in time, make learning to parallel park a thing of the past.”