Driverless car trials given all clear in the UK

driverless car

Published on 12 February 2015 by Gill

The Department for Transport’s recent regulatory review concluded that the UK is uniquely positioned to develop driverless car technology on actual roads.

Until now, driverless cars have been trialled mainly in contained, private spaces and specific road locations, but the review allows the industry to test on public roads across the UK. The next step is the introduction of a code of practice in the spring. It provides legal clarity to encourage UK industry to invest in this technology and it encourages the largest global businesses to come to the UK to develop and test new models.

Transport Minister Claire Perry launched the review titled, Pathway to Driverless Cars, at a media event in Greenwich, London, with Vince Cable, Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Claire explained that the review was an important step towards ensuring the UK is at the forefront of driverless cars. The announcement was supported by the four cities involved in the government-backed driverless car trials, including Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol and Greenwich, who unveiled their latest designs at the launch.

Government has committed £19m through the driverless cars competition, for collaborative projects to research how driverless cars can be integrated into everyday life in the UK.

The six-month review considered the best and safest ways to trial automated vehicles where an individual is ready to take control of the car if necessary. It also looked further ahead to the implications of testing fully automated vehicles.

See GOV.UK for the report and further information.