Driverless Car Technology Will Boost £15 Billion to Britain's Economy
Britain will speed up its ambition to become hub for driverless car technology. Chancellor George Osborne has announced to allocate a £100 million ($141 million) budget for research and development of autonomous vehicle. The industry is expected to provide a £15 billion ($21 billion) boost to Britain economy
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) claimed that driverless car technology will also create 320,000 jobs and increase annual productivity to £40 billion ($56 billion). The increase of productivity can be achieved because workers will be able to work behind wheel.
Regardless of its impact to economy, fully autonomous vehicle is still a long way to go. As SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes told This is Money, "Fully driverless cars are still a long way off. Cars that can drive themselves will transform our society – improving safety and reducing congestion and emissions – and contribute billions to the economy."
Currently, more than half of news cars sold in the UK are now equipped with some form of autonomous safety technology, according to SMMT. The society predicted by 2030, driverless car technology will be able to prevent 25,000 serious accidents and save 2,500 lives a year.
One of the most common autonomous safety technology is the collision warning system. The system consist of a series of cameras and laser monitoring that alert driver when the system detected a potential collision. UK aimed to develop further in the driverless technology with the government initiative.
In regard to that initiative, The Telegraph quoted Mike Hawes, "The UK is already earning a reputation as a global development hub in this field, thanks to significant industry and government investment, and the ability to trial these cars on the roads right now."
UK has already allocated £20 million budget to Intelligent Mobility Fund, a government's project which was announced in February this year. Currently there are eight driverless car technology received the funding. Five cities Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes, and Greenwich are currently testing driverless cars on their street, and also passengers shuttle car in Heathrow airport.
Wired reported the first fully autonomous vehicles are due to come to London in July. The driverless car is developed by the GATEway group and will serve local resident in Greenwich Peninsula, Southeast London and O2 Arena.
The autonomous vehicle system to be tested in London is similar with the one used at Heathrow Terminal 5. Heathrow has been used the autonomous vehicles that run on designated tracks for five years. Each pod is designed to carry six passengers.
As Chancellor George Osborne has committed resources to driverless car, the industry is expected to boost economy in the UK. With£100 million budget for research and development of autonomos vehicle, driverless cars will be tested on the road starting next year.