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UK government wants self-driving cars by 2021

May 06, 2019
The UK government has pledged its support for the country’s automotive and technology industries by announcing what it describes as its world-leading code of practice for testing automated vehicles.

The UK's market for connected and automated vehicles will be worth an estimated £52 billion by 2035With the UK’s market for connected and automated vehicles estimated to be worth £52 billion by 2035, this is a major boost to a sector open to investment from the world’s brightest transport technology companies. It also demonstrates that the government is on track to meet its commitment to have fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021.

Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman 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.”

Meanwhile, Richard Harrington, Automotive Minister said, “The UK has a rich heritage in automotive development and manufacturing, with automated and electric vehicles set to transform the way we all live our lives. We need to ensure we take the public with us as we move towards having self-driving cars on our roads by 2021. The update to the code of practice will provide clearer guidance to those looking to carry out trials on public roads.”

The ‘code of practice’, first published in 2015, makes clear that automated vehicle trials are possible on any UK road provided they are compliant with UK law - including testing with a remote driver. The update to the code acknowledges the growing desire of industry to conduct more advanced trials, and a process to handle such trials on public roads is now being developed.

Under the new code, those carrying out trials for automated vehicles will be expected to publish safety information, trial performance reports and to carry out risks assessments before conducting a trial.

Photo: Self-driving car

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