A project to test driverless cars in the UK is starting today, at locations across the country. The UK government hopes the early move with the upcoming technology will enable the UK to become a leading global supplier in years to come.
Tests are being conducted in Greenwich, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Bristol.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK is at the cutting edge of automotive technology – from the all-electric cars built in Sunderland to the Formula One expertise in the Midlands.”
He commented that the trials are backed by £19m worth of Government funding which will help the UK keep at the cutting edge of automotive technology.
“It’s important for jobs, growth and society that we keep at the forefront of innovation, that’s why I launched a competition to research and develop driverless cars.
“The projects we are now funding will help to ensure we are world leaders in this field and able to benefit from what is expected to be a £900bn industry by 2025.”
The cars avoid any hazards through a number of high tech sensors, designed to interact with and respond to moving and stationary hazards ahead of the vehicle.
There are concerned with the legal implications, however. At the moment, ascertaining the faulty party in an accident can be complicated enough. Factor in an increased role and responsibility of technology and who will be responsible if there is a crash?
It is thought that driverless cars could eventually save motorists six working weeks a year in driving time, improve safety, reduce congestion and cut emissions, although there are years of rigorous testing ahead before they become an everyday occurrence!