Department for Transport to trial driverless cars

Transport Minister Claire Perry will conduct a review into the 'weird' technology

Car park

The Department for Transport (DfT) is set to review the capabilities of driverless car technology, although Transport Minister Claire Perry thinks the tech is a bit 'weird'.

Perry explained the concept of using tech-enabled driving has the potential to revolutionise transport, despite it feeling a bit sci-fi for some people.

She said: "I see a future where driverless buses provide better and more frequent services. A major component of rural transport is the cost of the driver - and so a truly driverless bus could transform rural public transport in the future."

The DfT will conduct its review to resolve any regulatory issues that may arise, but it could lead to the first driverless bus hitting UK streets and has great opportunities for commercial vehicles too.

Driver error accounts for more than 90 per cent of traffic incidents she explained and by removing the driver, it will hopefully result in fewer accidents in addition to cut costs, congestion and carbon emissions.

A find of 10 million has been earmarked for the study in collaboration with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Vince Cable explained the plans back in August, although this is the first time the DfT has commented on the issue.

"The department has recently concluded a feasibility study of platooning on the UK trunk road network using vehicles with partial automation, but with a driver in each vehicle. I recently approved the next phase of research and know that work will be getting underway in 2015."

Some driverless trials have already been conducted in the UK, including one that tests unmanned lorries. The trucks would move in formation and are all connected by Wi-Fi. There will be one driver in the front lorry and standby operators in the rest of the fleet that will ensure if anything goes wrong, they can take control.

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

Continental and AWS unveil cloud-based automotive software
Software

Continental and AWS unveil cloud-based automotive software

15 Apr 2021
Cognizant acquires digital automotive firm ESG Mobility
automation

Cognizant acquires digital automotive firm ESG Mobility

25 Mar 2021
Argo AI closes $2.6 billion deal with Volkswagen
automation

Argo AI closes $2.6 billion deal with Volkswagen

2 Jun 2020
The slow road to driverless cars
automation

The slow road to driverless cars

18 Apr 2020

Most Popular

University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack
cyber attacks

University of Hertfordshire's entire IT system offline after cyber attack

15 Apr 2021
Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021