Intelligent mobility describes a new range of technologies that have the potential to tackle the key challenges facing road transport such as congestion, emissions and road safety. They include the latest developments in autonomous vehicles and telematics.
Trials of autonomous vehicles have been approved in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich as part of a £19 million programme.
On-road testing will evaluate cars with increasing levels of autonomy, as well as lightweight, fully-autonomous self-driving pods for pedestrianised spaces, passenger shuttle transport systems and autonomous valet parking of adapted cars.
They will also investigate the legal and insurance aspects of driverless cars and explore public reactions.
The Fleet Industry Manifesto calls for the Government to ensure that regulation keeps pace with technological changes and doesn’t stifle innovation and competition.
What is your position on these technologies?
Conservatives: Driverless cars are an exciting new technology and we have cleared the way for tests this summer with the aim of establishing the UK as the global hub for research and development of these vehicles and related technologies. We’re also looking at the potential for telematics technology to reduce accidents among younger people, with the first phase of the research project due to complete in April 2015.
Labour: Driverless vehicles are an exciting development for the transport industry, but at present the technology is in its infancy. As safety for all road users is a priority, Labour will observe closely the testing currently being carried out.
If it proves viable, the new technology has the potential to ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of transport industry developments and lead to advanced manufacturing jobs.
Liberal Democrats: Autonomous technology has huge potential for increasing safety on our roads and many examples already exist, such as automated braking and parking assistance.
We announced £10 million of investment into the research of these technologies last summer, and trials will be in place by summer 2015.
FleetNews view: Similar positions on intelligent mobility and autonomous vehicles have been adopted by all three political parties – they have all spotted the investment opportunities – although Labour is slightly more cautious about driverless cars, casting one eye on safety concerns. No difference in policy.