ITS (UK) has given details of the briefing it gave to the Transport Select Committee on the development of connected and autonomous vehicles.
The Committee members heard an independent and unbiased account of what ITS (UK) considers are some of the important issues that need to be addressed in what they call “this exciting area”. The overview included ITS (UK)’s perspective regarding the development of autonomous vehicles in the UK – identifying that ITS (UK) has been following and contributing closely to the development of autonomous vehicles and has an opinion on the various opportunities, benefits and obstacles as they apply to the UK. These include how the integration of autonomous vehicles with other vehicles on the roads network may take place, the realistic time-scales when they will be common-place on UK roads and other related issues such as Standards and legislation.
ITS (UK) drew together a high profile team to present, of Ian Patey, Vice-Chair of ITS (UK), Chair of the ITS (UK) Connected Vehicles Interest Group and Head of Profession, Mouchel Consulting; Nigel Wall, Chair of the ITS (UK) Communications Interest Group and CEO, Shadow Creek Consultancy; and Cyriel Diels, Chair of the ITS (UK) Automotive User Interest Group and Senior Lecturer in Human Factors, Coventry University.
The presenters outlined that the development of autonomous vehicles varies greatly around the globe; they are perceived as the ‘next big thing’ and some nations are stating that their research and development are well advanced and that road-legal vehicles will become a regular feature on their roads within the next few years. But they said this is far from the case and there are numerous obstacles standing in the path of those nations who are making such boastful claims. Before being able to deploy autonomous vehicles together with other conventional vehicles on any road network a number of crucial issues such as Standards, legality, safety, assurance and reliability need to be addressed.
It said the UK developments have many strong aspects to substantiate its position as one of the nations that are at the forefront of developments and although the UK autonomous vehicle industry has many “good stories to tell” it is worthwhile noting that it also acknowledges that there are significant obstacles that need to be resolved.
ITS (UK) says this was an excellent opportunity to communicate with the Transport Select Committee who expressed their appreciation for the informal briefing.