The UK government has announced that it is developing a process to support the advanced trials of automated vehicles. The announcement is being considered as a strong signal of support for the UK automotive and technology industries.
In response to feedback from industry, the government has also announced that its code of practice for testing automated vehicles to set even clearer expectations for safe and responsible trials. Advanced trials will not be supported unless they have passed rigorous safety assessments.
The ‘code of practice’, first published in 2015, makes clear that automated vehicle trials are possible on any UK road provided they are compliant with UK law – including testing with a remote driver. The update to the code acknowledges the growing desire of industry to conduct more advanced trials, and a process to handle such trials on public roads is now being developed.
Under the strengthened code, those carrying out trials for automated vehicles will be expected to publish safety information, trial performance reports and to carry out risks assessments before conducting a trial. Trialling organisations are also expected to inform the relevant authorities, emergency services, and anyone who might be affected by trial activity.
This announcement is another milestone in the government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, a key part of the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to take advantage of the extraordinary innovation in UK engineering and technology to make journeys safer, cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable.
The steps are directed towards establishing the UK as a global leader in the safe and responsible testing of automated vehicles. With the UK’s market for connected and automated vehicles estimated to be worth £52 billion by 2035, this is a major boost to the sector.
Source: Press Release