Combined Government and industry funding – totalling £81m – is being made available for commercial self-driving passenger and freight services. This could revolutionise public transport and passenger travel, especially for those who don’t drive, better connect rural communities, and reduce road collisions caused by human error.
Passengers will be boarding the world’s first full-sized, self-driving bus service in Edinburgh in Spring after it was awarded a share of joint UK government and industry support for self-driving transport technology.
Business Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “In just a few years, the business of self-driving vehicles could add tens of billions to our economy and create tens of thousands of jobs across the UK. This is a massive opportunity to drive forward our priority to grow the economy, which we are determined to seize.
“The support we provide today will help our transport and technology pioneers steal a march on the global competition by turning their bright ideas into market-ready products sooner than anyone else.”
The self-driving bus project is one of seven that has been successful around the UK and forms the most advanced set of commercial, self-driving passenger and freight operations anywhere in the world.
Self-driving vehicles could revolutionise public transport and passenger travel, especially for those who don’t drive, better connect rural communities, and reduce road collisions caused by human error. Forecasts predict that by 2035, 40% of new UK car sales will have self-driving capabilities, with a total market value for connected and automated mobility worth £41.7 billion to the UK. This could create nearly 40,000 skilled jobs in connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology.
The government is also committed to introducing legislation enabling the safe and timely rollout of self-driving vehicles on UK roads. Under a proposed ‘safety ambition’ for self-driving vehicles to be equivalent to a competent and careful human driver, vehicles will need to meet specific standards to be allowed to ‘self-drive’ on the roads throughout the vehicle’s lifetime. Organisations overseeing self-driving vehicles could face sanctions if measures are not maintained.
According to innovationnewsnetwork.com