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UK autonomous vehicle development opportunities
The IMechE has commented on the inclusion of the Modern Transport Bill for autonomous and electric vehicles within the Queen’s annual speech.
During her annual speech, HM the Queen stated “My ministers will ensure the United Kingdom is at the forefront of technology for new forms of transport, including autonomous and electric vehicles.”
In response to this reference to the Modern Transport Bill, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) head of Transport and Manufacturing, Philippa Oldham said that the organisation welcomed the attention being brought to the continued development of transport systems.
Commenting on what this means for the country, Philippa Oldham commented, “Great Britain has the opportunity to become a global leader in developing autonomous vehicles as we have some of the most open regulation in the world with the Department for Transport issuing its Code of Practice for testing last year and potentially attracting investment into the country and thereby encouraging others to come and test and develop their products here.”
With a focus on the reduction of casualties on the country’s roads, Ms Oldham emphasised the need to ensure that safety comes first and that the utmost care is taken in integrating autonomous vehicles with the existing fleet on Britain’s roads.
Referring to a case study which was released earlier this year by the IMechE, she said, “Making all vehicles autonomous could prevent up to 95% of all traffic accidents. The widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles would also help bring billions to the economy and potentially save thousands of lives.”