Driverless vehicles are the future and 2015 could be a watershed year, according to junior Transport Minister Claire Perry.
Speaking at the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety’s ‘Driverless Vehicles Conference, she said the driverless cars could be on the roads in a relatively short space of time.
Although cultural and political challenges had to be overcome, driverless cars would, said Ms Perry:
•Make driving safer and easier
•Reduce congestion
•Cut emissions and noise levels
•Make people more productive thus boosting the economy
She said: “Driver/human error is reported to account for over 90% of traffic incidents, and so it is clear that driverless cars will make a huge difference. Using the technology to manage traffic flows on trunk roads will smooth traffic flows and reduce the stop/start of congestion, which will, in turn, reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption.
“Building new roads to cope with increased capacity is very expensive and is slow to deliver, but this technology can deliver a solution.”
The Government has already announced that it is looking to establish driverless car projects in three cities next year. The projects will last 18-36 months. Alongside the trials, the Department for Transport has announced a study of driver and road user behaviour.