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Scotland announces plan to pioneer driverless technology

Written by Wed 1 Jan 2020

The CAV Roadmap for Scotland outlines the Ministry’s plan to put Scotland at the forefront of automated vehicle innovation

The CAV Roadmap for Scotland, newly released by the government, aims to make Scotland a leader in driverless technology with a plan that combines the efforts of government, industry, academics and key stakeholders to drive adoption of connected and automated vehicles.

Anticipated benefits of the new plan include reducing air pollution and congestion, reliability, and improved access to public transport for elderly, disabled, and underserved populations.

Driverless technology could also significantly impact the economy in the UK, with one report from Frost & Sullivan estimating that early adoption could result in the creation of 420,000 new jobs by 2030. Another report noted that by improving access, automated vehicles could provide an additional 1 million UK citizens with better access to higher education.

In the Roadmap, Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson said that Scotland is open for business to test this technology, detailing the many benefits he believes early adoption can provide the country. “The development and deployment of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) has the potential to bring transformative change to people’s lives, not just in how we travel, but in how we work, where we live, the environment and safety.”

The CAV Roadmap also detailed a plan for a fleet of driverless buses to take over the 14-mile route from Fife to Edinburgh. The £6.1 million project will be funded in part by the UK Intelligent Mobility Fund, and through a partnership with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

The automated route will be managed by a fleet of 30 single-decker, 42-seat buses that will carry passengers at a maximum speed of 50 mph. Proof of concept will be tested on a number of factors, including safely merging and changing lanes in traffic, negotiating roundabouts, and making regular stops for passenger pickup and exit.

Acceptance of driverless public transport may be an issue, however, with a recent survey showing that only 23 percent of respondents would trust a driverless vehicle, and 9 in 10 were concerned about an unforeseen circumstance arising that had not been anticipated by programmers.

The ministry said that Scotland is uniquely well-positioned to support and advance innovation in driverless vehicles, with a combination of motorway diversity, technological advancement, and industry, academic, and governmental support.

Written by Wed 1 Jan 2020


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