UK steers towards driverless cars with Code of Practice


At the same time it launched a £20M million competitive fund for collaborative research and development into driverless vehicles.

The measures announced this week are planned to place the UK at the forefront of the intelligent mobility market, expected to be worth £900Bn by 2025.

The government wants bidders to put forward proposals in areas such as safety, reliability, how vehicles can communicate with each other and the environment around them and how driverless vehicles can help give an ageing population greater independence. Successful bidders will match fund projects with their own money.

The code of practice provides industry with the framework they need to safely trial cars in real-life scenarios, and to create more sophisticated versions of the models that already exist.

The moves have been welcomed by Professor Nick Reed, technical Lead of the GATEway project, an autonomous vehicle pilot scheme run by London’s Royal College of Art, and academy director at transport consultancy TRL.

He said: “Much research and development is required before driverless cars become commonplace on our streets but the launch of the Code of Practice brings this vision a step closer. It sets the scene for the safe evaluation and development of highly and fully automated vehicles for years to come and is another example of how the UK is leading the charge in this area.

The Department for Transport and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have established the new joint policy unit, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV), which will co-ordinate government policy on driverless cars and connected technology. C-CAV is currently working on a range of new technological developments, including plans to test new roadside communication technology to improve traffic flow and safety through ‘connected corridors’. This would pilot technology that will provide drivers with useful journey and safety information.

The £20M competition announced today is part of the £100M for research into intelligent mobility announced in the Spring Budget.

To catch up with the latest technology developments and opinions don’t miss the Active Safety: ADAS to Autonomous conference this October 12-13.

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