MOTORISTS and even wheelchair users could get around more easily as a result of funding the county council has said could herald a technological revolution.

The county council has received £1.25m that will make it easier to use connected vehicles – which would be linked to the internet to a wider system.

The Government hopes connected vehicles will be introduced by 2021, along with electric vehicles.

The council already has a traffic control centre, based in Kidlington. That is able to take information from roadside cameras, traffic sensors and online services, similar to Google Maps.

But it said it wants to use the £1.25m to help develop ways of collecting new transport data, then processing it and finding other ways to make use of it.

Yvonne Constance, the county council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Not many councils are like Oxfordshire – our thriving communities are at the heart of everything we do.

“The challenge is to be ready for the new wave of transport. That means different and cleaner power sources and brand-new technology such as computer assisted transport.”

She added: “Oxfordshire is also the first council to include connected and autonomous vehicles in its Local Transport Plan. These vehicles can be anything including bicycles, wheelchairs, vans, public transport and cars.

“There is a massive amount of work to do to make everything work, and that is why we are delighted to receive £1.25m from the Government towards the research that is needed to see how we could upgrade our systems to see connected vehicles work seamlessly with traffic on Oxfordshire’s roads.”

Mrs Constance added: “The council is in charge of the majority of Oxfordshire’s roads, and is also home to some world-class high-tech companies.

"We know we can have a real impact in shaping the future of transport.”

Traffic management systems across the country were set up to respond to conditions that had changed little since the 1980s.

But with many more transport options open to people today or expected soon, the council must change with the times.

The council said although autonomous vehicles could ease congestion in busy urban areas, they might be helpful for people living in rural areas too.