CAVs in the West of England

The West of England: Open for Innovation

As local authorities in the West of England, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are proud to be one of the country’s leading centres for innovation and at the forefront of connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs) R&D. As a place where industry and research institutes are already choosing to innovate, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are open to providing the infrastructure, platforms and resource at their disposal to support innovation. This enables them to get invaluable learning and puts them in a position to advise other interested organisations.

New modes of transport (especially for first mile/last mile) will increasingly utilise CAV technologies, creating more efficient, safer and economical ways for businesses, visitors and commuters to travel. A shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service, have the potential to radically transform the transport system in the longer-term future. The region is looking forward to supporting this type of innovation.

 VENTURER in the West of England

The VENTURER project was largely delivered within Bristol and South Gloucestershire, with most of the consortium partners having bases in these areas. The role of Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils was to facilitate CAV demonstrations, with the Councils learning a significant amount about CAVs throughout the project.

The project had a resulting positive local impact within Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and the broader West of England area. For example, VENTURER:

  1. Supported the West of England’s priorities, including improving skills, attracting talent, delivering business growth and unlocking new investment.
  2. Engaged with over 20,000 members of the public, helping to raise public awareness of CAVs and promoting STEM subjects. This included running public events in Bristol and engaging with local schools and community groups.
  3. Engaged with over 250 business, many of which are based in the West of England.

CAV Cluster

The West of England is already recognised as a highly-skilled area with a range of specialist industries related to technology and engineering development. The area is increasingly recognised for a range of CAV related capabilities that are either not available elsewhere in the UK, or are more advanced than in other areas. These capabilities include:

  1. Experience in delivering CAV related R&D projects, including conducting trials on public roads.
  2. World class experience in secure wireless connectivity, including cyber security, and unique connectivity infrastructure vital to CAV development and deployment – including the Open Programmable City Region Network.
  3. Multi-disciplinary smart city network building know-how.
  4. Leading expertise in human factors research, covering psychological and sociological aspects of the user experience of being in CAVs and interacting with them across age ranges and other profiles.
  5. A range of other industry sectors and academic specialisms within the West of England that are directly linked to CAV development, including expertise in legal and insurance, and vehicle sensing and perception systems.

Technology and Business in the West of England

Bristol and South Gloucestershire became involved in the VENTURER project to build on the region’s legacy of aerospace, technology and transport technologies. These areas have a wealth of hi-tech businesses and a skilled workforce and the Councils want to support these, particularly in the Enterprise Areas and Zones. The Councils also wanted to inspire the talent of the future through STEM activity as they appreciate they are the next generation of entrepreneurs, professionals and academics.

The West of England Region provides local businesses and new investors a chance to benefit from the economic growth the area is set to deliver. This will require careful management; hence Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils work in partnership across the West of England to ensure any major scheme or project incorporates connected innovation. This can refer to thinking, project management or even physical infrastructure. Using innovation both as a catalyst and a platform helps to deliver the right solutions in a future-proof way, saving time, money and delivering a higher quality solution. As the custodians of the local highway network, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Councils have the ambition to enhance travel experiences for all road users, respond to market demands and adopt new ways to increase safety, reduce congestion, increase efficiency and support economic growth.

The Digital Infrastructure & Connectivity strategy will stimulate economic growth by providing businesses based in the area with access to world-class, future-proof digital connectivity, thereby giving opportunities to create new products, markets and business opportunities. Innovation hubs are creative spaces where ideas can be generated, tested and developed. Bristol and South Gloucestershire provide the means to do so at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol and Bath Science Park (incorporating the Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems) and Bristol University’s new innovation Campus.


To find out more, enquire about the CAV related services and capabilities which the Bristol or South Gloucestershire Councils can offer through the VENTURER Alliance, or you have idea that can help us as well as develop your own research and business, please email: