UK Race to Driverless Cars
The UK has always strived to be at the forefront of driverless cars. But how are we doing so far?
20:25 19 November 2018
How does the UK fare in the global race to be at the forefront of autonomous vehicle industry? Digital Greenwich’s chief innovation officer gives an update.
Paul Copping, chief innovation officer of Digital Greenwich, the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s in-house team tasked to develop and take forward its smart-city strategy, gives an update. He said: “Most cities are actively planning for a different transport model. This is the purpose of our Smart Mobility Living Lab, funded by Innovate UK and our industrial partners. I would also go wider and say that some of us are rethinking spatial planning in the context of shared and autonomous mobility systems. Soon we will have the opportunity to remove some of the clutter of parked cars and signage while designing communities that are more intimate and internally connected through walking and cycling routes. We can then join these communities together using efficient arterial links – maybe road trains – which can run on demand.”
However, he admits that there are still many challenges that need to be addressed.
He added: I think our biggest collective challenge is to find a way to work together right across the market and develop a horizontal strategy for internet of things, 5G, fibre deployment, artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology. Everyone’s tempted, quite naturally, to break it up into bitesized chunks – the classic nibble is parking sensors – but I am convinced that the business case has to be deliberately layered so that mobility systems are on a shared platform with asset management, benefits, social services, education and so on. This is a really hard challenge but even it makes our eyes bleed it will be worth it. I think we will need to review our funding, procurement and service propositions to make this fly. I am expecting to see more bond finance, especially social impact bonds, and more delivery as a service with long-term revenue streams and low barriers to entry.