WATERLOO -- Researchers at the University of Waterloo have teamed up with the federal government and Magna International to develop safe autonomous vehicles.

The $1.6-million project was announced on Monday morning. Ottawa and Magna, an automotive mobile tech company, will each contribute $600,000. UW will provide the remaining $400,000.

The researchers plan to develop software for automated vehicles, including adaptive cruise control and steering. They said the goal is to have the vehicle do more driving, while keeping safety and security top of monad.

"When people use a safety critical system like a car, they have the expectation that the system doesn't harm them," project lead Sebastian Fischmeister said. "When you step in a car, an automated car, you want to sleep in the back of the car with peace of mind."

Fischmeister doesn't know how long it will take for the cars to hit the road, but said it won't be anytime soon.