Research & reports

Title: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?

Organisation: House of Lords Science and Technology Committee
Date uploaded: 29th March 2017
Date published/launched: March 2017

This report suggests that realising the full benefits of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) is likely to require new road and communications infrastructure.

The report sets out recommendations for the Government to ensure it makes decisions that enable the UK to receive maximum economic benefit from autonomous vehicles.

It concludes that mobile phone coverage on UK roads will need to be improved, adding that the Government must take action with Highways England and Local Transport Authorities to ensure new infrastructure can be future-proofed and will not need ‘expensive retro-fitting’.

Looking at CAVs in a broader sense, the report finds that the main social, behavioural and ethical questions relating to autonomous cars - including whether they will reduce collisions caused by human error - remain largely unanswered.

The Committee heard evidence that autonomous vehicles have the potential to lower the number of road fatalities, but the eradication of human error will only be realised with full automation which could take decades.

The report also says the Government ‘must broaden its focus’ so that its work on CAVs cuts across all sectors, and does not focus so heavily on road vehicles.

The report says that while the Government should not be involved in developing automated cars, it must prepare for the deployment of fully-automated vehicles, including conducting one or more large scale tests covering real world urban and rural environments.

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