Fully autonomous vehicles won’t reach UK roads for a decade, predicts report

Fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) will not be a common sight on the UK’s roads for more than 10 years, suggests new research, thanks to regulatory and legislative complexities, and issues around public acceptability.

Despite the progress being made with autonomous technologies, the rest of the ‘ecosystem’ required to support driverless cars – including regulation, insurance, compliance and roads – needs a lot of development, found PA Consulting Group.

“What we now need is a clear national strategy for the UK to know how it can make the most of AVs, or we face being left far behind our European neighbours,” said Charlie Henderson, roads expert at PA Consulting Group.

He warned that despite enthusiasm among manufacturers and the media about the mass uptake of autonomous vehicles, a number of significant technological, legislative and public confidence barriers remain.

“The key to speeding up progress is all about developing public confidence. For this to happen, we must: be clear about the social and economic benefits of driverless cars; define what skills the UK needs to realise those benefits; create a framework of regulations for driverless and conventional cars to co-exist; develop a cyber security framework to boost consumer confidence; and create incentives to include AV technologies in new or existing cars,” said Henderson.