As part of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into autonomous vehicles, the Committee have visited the GATEway Project in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, one of the research development programmes for self-driving vehicles in the UK.
Over the past few months, the Committee members have been exploring the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles and the transition path needed for the co-existence of autonomous and conventional road vehicles. They have heard evidence from government officials, academics and industry experts on how driverless vehicles will fit into the wider transport strategy, whilst also exploring the socio-economic aspects in the deployment of self-driving cars.
Members had the opportunity to see and test the new technology for themselves. The Committee witnessed final testing of the first GATEway shuttle vehicle ahead of public trials and experienced TRL’s portable driving simulator, MiniDigiSim. Members were also taken for a ride in the Geni, the development vehicle of GATEway partner Oxbotica,that navigates using Selenium, Oxbotica’s autonomous operating system.
The Committee’s Chairman, Lord Selborne, said, “Over the course of our inquiry we have heard compelling evidence on how autonomous vehicles can benefit society and the economy. However, if we are to realistically see these cars on UK roads in the near future, research and investment is vital. Projects such as GATEway ensure the roads are ready for driverless vehicles as well as the efficient integration of sophisticated automated transport systems into complex real world environments.”