The UK is a world leader in supporting the development of autonomous vehicles, according to a panel of experts.
The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Learned Society Lecture 2016 discussed how Britain has managed to create the right environment for autonomous vehicles, including current trials and research, the conditions and innovation required and how authorities can support development.
Last month Volvo Cars announced that it plans to run driverless car trials on public roads around London from next year.
Anders Eugensson, its director of governmental affairs compared the UK regulatory environment favourably with that in other countries.
He said: ‘Some European governments are working towards making this a very difficult process of getting the right vehicles in the market. They are putting in barriers. I think this is the most threatening situation.’
Iain Forbes, head of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles described how the Government intends to take advantage of the potential benefits of autonomous vehicles, including improved road safety, more efficient networks, opening up transport options to people who have few, and giving people back time that they lose driving.
Professor Nick Reed from TRL, who is involved with some of the trials in the UK, said: ‘It’s exciting to be involved at the heart of these activities and to see how some of the sorts of predicted benefits from autonomous and connected vehicles can be achieved in the real world.’
CIHT has released a podcast of the discussion.