Google, Tesla and others have been making the headlines in the autonomous vehicle market and in the UK there are autonomous vehicle trial veing funded by Innovate UK. Is Scotland behind the curve?
It is already quite easy to drive from Aberdeen to Edinburgh without touching the pedals in many current cars with adaptive cruise control, but what about letting go of the steering wheel. The potential advantages of vehicles driving themselves are huge. Most road accidents are due to driver error and there have been very few accidents in the 100s of millions of miles not tested in autonomous vehicles.
Also it becomes possible to make much better use of road capacity as vehicles travel in road trains. This is particularly attractive for lorries where huge improvements in fuel economy are possible.
Scotland cannot afford to fall behind so STSG is starting a debate on about how we can adopt a step by step approach to widespread adoption of AVs within 10 years.
Who should lead?
Which roads are most suitable?
What changes in legislation are needed?