Overcoming the Hurdles of Embracing Connected and Automated Mobility
This is the second part in a series of blogs around the UK governments published plans for the future of UK Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CAM) 2025.
The first post outlines the benefits of CAM to the UK.
This article will give an overview of the challenges that the UK faces to successfully adopt Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM), and how to take advantage of the benefits it has to offer.
Ensuring confidence in CAM safety and security
Existing road safety measures and guidelines are designed around human drivers.
CAM will improve safety by reducing the element of human error, which has a significant influence in road traffic accidents. In fact, according to Speed Medical, its estimated that between 90-95% of road traffic accidents are caused by human error.
Any possibility to lower, even stop these accidents from happening, will be hugely positive for everyone. There is the added caveat that appropriate testing and standards will need to be employed first.
Technology isn’t completely infallible. New technologies bring new risks, which must be identified and mitigated.
To ensure the safety (and now the security) of citizens, whether on the roads or pedestrian, industry and government must work together to develop appropriate technologies, policies and regulations. An interesting marker of progress is that the UK was ranked no.2 in the world in KPMG’s 2020 Automated Vehicles Readiness Index for Policy and Regulation.
Attracting private investment into CAM
Private investment in UK CAM has been reported as £790 million. However, it is likely that figure is much higher at this does not include investment in companies who have not received government funding, nor does it include investments that have not been publicized. The UK government will look to increase private investment in UK CAM companies by accelerating technology and services to be commercially viable sooner.
Developing a skilled workforce
Connected and autonomous vehicle technologies have the potential to create a significant amount of well-paid skilled jobs across the UK. Specialist training and skills development will be key to fulfilling the growing demands for resources in the transport sector. Cross-functional skills such as cyber security in road infrastructure and software defined vehicles will need to be accessible and attractive career paths.
Improving public understanding of CAM
Educating the general public on CAM technologies will be crucial. For example, knowing what the differences are between self-driving, and vehicle assistance.
Ensuring people understand how to use it appropriately, plus the responsibilities (legal and otherwise) they are undertaking, is important.
Initially, this sounds like it could be a formidable task, but this is one area in which precedence does exist. The Highway Code, originally published in 1931, is regularly updated, with new rules just added in July 2022 about the penalties for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Effective integration of CAM
Integrating CAM into the UK public transport network and infrastructure will include updating physical infrastructure such as, static signings and markings, traffic control and detection systems and the existing digital infrastructure. In addition to designing, developing, testing and implementing new digital infrastructure.
Increasing network coverage is crucial to the UK’s CAM objectives. In order to facilitate safe connected mobility, there must be a robust and resilient network with fast, reliable and secure connectivity.
Vehicles with high levels of automation require more bandwidth than those without them because they need more information sent back and forth from sensors, as well as from other vehicles nearby. So any breaks in connectivity must be minimalised and any reconnections will need to be immediate and in real time.
In conclusion, connected and automated vehicles presents a great deal of potential for the UK in the years to come, but it also faces challenges. There must be collaboration between the Government, professional bodies, research institutions, large technology companies and innovative start-ups.
By acknowledging these challenges and working to overcome them, the UK has the opportunity to develop the best infrastructure for autonomous vehicles on the world stage.
For more information
This is the second in a short series of blogs, helping to breakdown the Government’s CAM policy so you can stay informed.
Keep a look out for the next one very coming soon.
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