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Lord calls for Britain to begin preparing its roads for autonomous cars

Wednesday 15 March 2017, By Autovolo

Lord calls for Britain to begin preparing its roads for autonomous cars

Lord calls for Britain to begin preparing its roads for autonomous cars

Lord Selbourne is calling for British roads to be prepared for autonomous cars now – despite also saying that the technology will not arrive for at least 20 years.

John Roundell Palmer, fourth Earl of Selborne and Chairman of the Science and Technology Select Committee made the comments following the release of the Lords’ “Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?” report, which goes as far to suggest motorists take another test before using driverless vehicles.

“It’s everyone’s guess when fully autonomous vehicles will be seen on our roads,” he said.

“In my own opinion it’s at least 20 years away. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be bearing that in mind when we design our roads now, because the roads are going to be still in place in 20 years time, so we need to understand and anticipate what the requirements will be then.”

However, he was quick to state the importance of government’s role in updating Britain’s infrastructure, which will see widespread 4G connectivity, adding sensors to roads and the introduction of special lanes for convoys of autonomous cars. 

“We make a plea that the government get together with the highway authorities and the local transport authorities to ensure that everyone is kept up to speed with this fast moving technology,” he said.

“The last thing you want is for local authorities to spend money on designing traffic management systems which will be redundant within a short space of time.”

The “Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?” report was released today, outlining recommendations for the government to ensure that Britain remains a leader in the development of autonomous technologies.