English highways authorities have been invited to bid for funding from a new £2m pot to trial cooperative intelligent transport technology.
The Department for Transport says that it will fund projects of between £50,000 and £30,000 which allow vehicles to communicate with each other and roadside sensors.
The information gathered could help councils communicate warnings about changing weather and traffic conditions to help drivers plan ahead, reducing congestion.
The DfT said: “Connected vehicles, and the infrastructure to support them, are not a long-term possibility, but an immediate reality.
“It is important that they take their place in the short-term planning conducted by local highway authorities and not just in long-term plans.
“The way they are used and adopted by drivers and network operators is important, as the longer term deployment of autonomous vehicles that may rely on connected vehicles technology.”
It said that the competition funding would focus on solutions and applications which are deliverable and which can be quickly implemented.
Under a previous scheme, Westminster City Council has been building an app that directs drivers to empty parking spaces in central London and then takes payments automatically for using the spot.
Councils across England will have until the end of September to apply for the funding.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “Britain has a proud history of innovation and I am delighted that councils will be able to use this money to develop systems to make journeys easier and safer.”