Logistics UK issues automated vehicle warning

News Story
- 23 May 2024 ( #1180 ) - London, United Kingdom
2 min read
British company Oxa is trialling self-driving cars in the UK
British company Oxa is trialling self-driving cars in the UK

Logistics UK has warned more work needs to be done to prepare the United Kingdom for self-driving vehicles.

The warning comes after the Automated Vehicle Act received Royal Assent this week, paving the way for self-driving vehicles to be on roads by 2026. 

UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper says the new law was a milestone.

“While this doesn’t take away people’s ability to choose to drive themselves, our landmark legislation means self-driving vehicles can be rolled out on British roads as soon as 2026, in a real boost to both safety and our economy,” Harper says in a statement.

The UK government says the self-driving vehicle industry could be worth up to GBP42 billion (USD53 billion) and create 38,000 skilled jobs by 2035.  

Automated vehicles are also expected to improve road safety by reducing human error, which contributes to 88% of road collisions. 

“The approval of the Automated Vehicle Act brings the future one step closer to reality, but there is still more to be done if science fiction is to become fact,” says Logistics UK’s head of engineering policy Phil Lloyd.

“Logistics UK and its members want to work closely with government to build a regulatory framework and funding model for trials that enables our sector to act as a test-bed for vehicle development. 

“At the same time, if these vehicles are to deliver the benefits for the economy that are anticipated, it is vital that transport infrastructure, investment and technologies make similarly swift progress, to ensure our sector can take full advantage of the opportunities that automation could deliver for the UK’s supply chain.”

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.

British company Oxa, which exports self-driving software through its passenger shuttles partnership with US autonomous vehicle services provider Beep, is already trialling self-driving cars in the UK.

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