The government has confirmed its support for automated vehicles by announcing the development of a process to support advanced trials of these vehicles.
All advanced trials are subject to the most rigorous of safety assessments, underpinned by feedback from the automotive and technology industries that has resulted in the strengthening of the code of practice for testing automated vehicles; this will ensure clearer expectations to make sure all trials are safe and responsible.
The code of practice was first introduced in 2015, making it clear that automated vehicle trials must be compliant with UK law; under the new code, the laws have been strengthened, with those who are carrying out testing and trials required to publish safety information, trial performance reports and report risk assessments before any trials are conducted.
Authorities must be made aware of any trials too.
It comes as the UK seeks to cement its position as a leader in trials of automated vehicles; it is a market that has huge potential for growth – by 2035, the UK market for connected and automated vehicles is expected to be worth £52 billion, providing a massive boost for the economy.
As a result, extra investment will be encouraged into the sector from transport companies worldwide.
The Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, believes this technology could result in a travel transformation.
He said: “Thanks to the UK’s world class research base, this country is in the vanguard of the development of new transport technologies, including automation.
“The government is supporting the safe, transparent trialling of this pioneering technology, which could transform the way we travel.”
Driverless vehicles is something that the government is moving forward with, and it is a crucial component of the Industrial Strategy; released towards the end of 2017, the Strategy outlined the commitment to introduce self-driving vehicles onto the roads of the UK by 2021.