Driverless car technology expert to give talk in Guernsey on 6 July

June 15th, 2015 by UK Department of Transport

Driverless car (image courtesy of UK Transport Department)

Driverless pod being tested in Milton Keynes (image courtesy of UK Transport Department)

In February 2015 the UK government gave the green light for testing driverless cars on public roads.

Driverless car technology provides a huge business opportunity as well as many benefits to society from reducing traffic accidents to better traffic management and reduced traffic congestion.

The United Kingdom is recognised as being at the cutting edge of automotive technology with all-electric cars being built in Sunderland and the Formula 1 expertise in the Midlands.

The UK government is funding driverless car projects in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry. The UK government is optimistic that the driverless car industry will be worth £900 billion by 2025.

Greenwich is home to one of the projects benefiting from £19 million government funding for driverless cars trials.

Along with Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry, the Greenwich project is building on the pioneering work begun last year by Oxford University in partnership with Nissan.

Meridian electric driverless shuttle by The 02 Millennium Dome in London (click image to expand - image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

Meridian electric driverless shuttle by The 02 Millennium Dome in London (click image to expand – image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

In February 2015, government ministers were witness to the first official trials of the fully autonomous Meridian shuttle in Greenwich.

A prototype of a driverless pod was also unveiled, which is being tested in public areas in Milton Keynes.

A BAE wildcat vehicle, the result of years of advanced research and development by BAE systems, is being tested in Bristol.

BAE Systems driverless Wildcat jeep in Bristol (click image to expand - image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

BAE Systems driverless Wildcat jeep in Bristol (click image to expand – image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

Advanced driver assistance systems are already breaking into the automotive market, improving car safety and leading to lower insurance premiums.

The UK Department for Transport review, carried out in late 2014, considered the best and safest ways to trial automated vehicles where an individual is ready to take control of the car if necessary. It also looked further ahead to the implications of testing fully automated vehicles.

Driverless vehicle at MIRA Technology Park (click image to expand - image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

Driverless vehicle at MIRA Technology Park (click image to expand – image courtesy of UK Department of Transport)

The review provides legal clarity to encourage UK and international industry to invest in this technology and it encourages the largest global businesses to come to the UK to develop and test new models.

The next step is for the UK government to introduce a code of practice which will provide industry with the framework they need to trial cars in real-life scenarios, and to create more sophisticated versions of the models that already exist.

The first driverless cars supported by the prize fund are expected to be tested on British roads by the summer.

The Dandelion Project is hosting Dr Nick Reed from Transport Research Laboratory to speak to a Guernsey audience on 6 and 7 July 2015.

There is limited seating at the 6 July talk, which can be booked through Eventbrite.com

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