£10 million of funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency reporting to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, gave the green light for the testing of driverless cars in the real world in formal trials that will last between 18 and 36 months. The trials will take place in Greenwich, South East London, Milton Keynes and Coventry (working together as one project) and Bristol.
The aim is to establish the UK as the global hub for the research, development and integration of driverless vehicles and associated technologies.
Nick Jones, lead technologist for the low carbon vehicle innovation platform at Innovate UK, said:
“Cars that drive themselves would represent the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine and at Innovate UK, we want to help the UK to lead the world in making that happen.
There are so many new and exciting technologies that can come together to make driverless cars a reality, but it’s vital that trials are carried out safely, that the public have confidence in that technology and we learn everything we can through the trials so that legal, regulation and protection issues don’t get in the way in the future.”
Ministers have also launched a review looking at current road regulations to establish how the UK can remain at the forefront of driverless car technology and ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless cars in the UK.
Transport Minister Claire Perry said:
“Driverless cars have huge potential to transform the UK’s transport network – they could improve safety, reduce congestion and lower emissions, particularly CO2. We are determined to ensure driverless cars can fulfil this potential which is why we are actively reviewing regulatory obstacles to create the right framework for trialling these vehicles on British roads.”
This article first appeared on Capita’s ‘Create Tomorrow’.
For further information contact Hardy Giesler
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