The Department for Transport yesterday published The Pathway to Driverless Cars:  A Code of Practice for Testing, and at the same time introduced the joint DfT and Department for Business Innovation and Skills joint policy unit, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV).  It was also announced that £20 million of the £100 million for research into intelligent mobility announced by the Chancellor in the Spring 2015 Budget has been set aside for a funding competition for research in the area of highly automated vehicles.

ITS (UK), the Intelligent Transport Systems membership association for all who work in ITS in the UK, welcomes this renewed Government support for UK industry.  It follows last year’s announcement of £19 million funding for the three highly automated vehicle research consortia GATEway, VENTURER and Autodrive, all of which are led by ITS (UK) Members, respectively TRL, Atkins and Arup.

Jennie Martin, Secretary General of ITS (UK), commented:  “DfT have consulted carefully with all relevant stakeholders in the complex area of testing autonomous vehicles, covering technical, safety, legal and insurance issues, and the result is a Code of Practice which shows the lightness of touch needed to encourage innovation, but contains enough detail to ensure a safe and responsible approach to testing of these systems.  Combined with the new allocation of funding for highly automated vehicle research, this is excellent support for UK efforts to lead in this area.”

Ian Patey of Mouchel, Chairman of ITS (UK)’s Connected Vehicles Interest Group, said:”We all rely on transportation to make our lives enjoyable and fruitful but sadly we also know the frustration caused by congestion, the health problems from pollution and the tragic consequences of traffic collisions.  Increasing the levels of automation within road vehicles  will enable us to enjoy the benefits of road transport whilst reducing the negative consequences.  This CoP and the related funding will bring those benefits to the UK quicker and also enable UK industry to prosper and remain at the forefront in this developing and growing global market.”