As Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce that driverless cars will be allowed to be tested on the UK’s motorways from next year, the RAC says it will be essential for drivers to be well informed about them.
Various reports over the weekend said that Mr Osborne will say the government will bring forward proposals to remove regulatory barriers to the technology, with a statement saying that the Government will “need to ensure safety, and that’s what the trials will test.”
It added that, “If successful, we could see driverless cars available for sale and on Britain’s roads, boosting UK jobs and productivity.”
But the RAC’s chief engineer David Bizley said that, “while the RAC recognises that driverless cars have the potential to offer great benefits in terms of improved safety on our roads and the prospect of greater mobility for the disabled and the elderly, inevitably motorists will be apprehensive about the idea of sharing road space with driverless vehicles.”
It therefore says it is “essential to keep other road users well informed about these trials so they are not surprised or distracted by the presence of a of a driverless car.”
Bizley adds that driverless cars do present an opportunity for the UK to consolidate its standing as a centre of excellence for automotive technology and vehicle manufacture. “Trials such as those proposed will be essential in proving the capability and reliability of autonomous vehicle technology,” he says.