€4.2 million research programme into driverless vehicles launches in Ireland 2 weeks ago

€4.2 million research programme into driverless vehicles launches in Ireland

The future is now.

A research programme worth €4.2 million into the potential creation of driverless vehicles has launched in Ireland.

The Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys has launched the programme, which is being backed by Science Foundation Ireland.

It is hoped that Ireland can be a major global centre for autonomous vehicle research and the programme is expected to bring together 11 companies to work on a variety of autonomous systems projects across the automotive, industrial and agricultural sectors.

Irish firms will focus on a number of challenges that face the development of driverless vehicles around the world, especially people working in the same environments as pedestrians, animals and human-operated vehicles.

Speaking at the programme launch on Wednesday, Minister Humphreys said: "I am delighted to be back here in the University of Limerick to launch this exciting €4.2 million research collaboration on driverless vehicles, which includes a contribution by Government of over €2 million through Science Foundation Ireland.

"Future Jobs Ireland is all about embracing innovation and technological change and this type of project is a great example of the capacity we have here in Ireland to be at the forefront of these cutting-edge developments.

"It is especially pleasing that in addition to the involvement of our universities this research also involves companies in Kerry, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork, Dublin and Monaghan."

Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Lero, an Irish Software Research Centre, commented: "Revenues from autonomous systems have been projected to be worth over €100 billion by 2030.

"There is no reason why Ireland cannot be a serious research player in this vital sector."