Construction company Amey has announced a research project to explore what infrastructure experts think about autonomous vehicle technology.
As part of the People in Autonomous Vehicles in Urban Environments (PAVE) consortium, Amey has been asked to work alongside the Government and industry partners to explore what the potential impact will be on the UK’s infrastructure.
It said that as the development of driverless cars and other vehicles gathers pace, there is a growing need to fully understand the implications of this revolutionary technology.
Dr Rick Robinson, Amey’s IT director of smart data and technology, said: ‘While these vehicles remain in development phase, now is an important time to explore the views of people who understand the wider implications of the technology.
‘We are keen to learn what autonomous vehicles mean for transport infrastructure and how we can design the transport network of tomorrow.‘
He added: ‘We see this project as an exciting opportunity to work as part of a consortium whose focus is not necessarily the technology itself but rather the stakeholder and infrastructure environment in which autonomous vehicles will operate.’
Amey will run a series of workshops and other events to gather views from councillors around the country, travel planners, emergency services, industry experts and policy makers, with a view to understanding from a range of key perspectives the perceived benefits and challenges autonomous vehicle technology poses.
The PAVE consortium won funding from Government innovation agency Innovate UK for a feasibility study to test public perceptions towards driverless vehicles in recognition of ongoing public apprehension.
The findings of the research project could inform future Government policies and decisions related to driverless cars over the coming decades. The consortium is due to publish its final report by 2017.