This session provides an opportunity for the Committee to hear from representatives from three driverless car trials in Greenwich, Bristol and Milton Keynes. The Committee will be able to explore the progress being made by the trials and the issues they have highlighted relating to the deployment and regulation of driverless cars as well as social and behavioural issues.
The Committee will also examine the extent to which the UK will have to align itself with future international regulation for self-driving vehicles in areas such as cyber-security and data handling and will assess what progress has been made in European and global regulation of autonomous vehicles.
At 10:40am the Committee will hear from:
- Ms Claire Depré, Head of Sustainable & Intelligent Transport Unit, DG Transport and Mobility
- Dr Hermann Meyer, CEO, ERTICO –EUROPE
- Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders
The Committee are likely to ask:
- What can European organisations deliver that individual Member States or organisations cannot deliver on their own?
- What ways is it possible to avoid a situation where European countries have their own individual approach to cybersecurity and privacy requirements for highly autonomous vehicles?
- To what extent can the UK devise its own regulations and standards?
At 11:40am the Committee will hear from:
- Professor Nick Reed, Greenwich Automated Transport Environment
- John McCarthy, Bristol Driverless Cars Project
- Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation, Milton Keynes Council
The Committee are likely to ask:
- Are you demonstrating a scientific or engineering process or testing elements of a system to be deployed?
- Has there been modelling or simulation of deployment on a network of a mixed fleet of non-highly and fully-automated vehicles?
- Can these new types of vehicle operate safely, efficiently and effectively on current infrastructure or will there have to be significant new infrastructure investment?
The evidence session will take place in Committee room 4A on Tuesday 8 November in the House of Lords at 10:30am.
Source: UK Parliment
The TSC has successfully tested its self-driving vehicles in public for the first time in the UK. The demonstration of a UK developed autonomous driving system marked the conclusion of the LUTZ Pathfinder Project, which has been developing the technology for the past 18 months.
The project team has been running a number of exercises in preparation for the demonstration as part of the LUTZ Pathfinder project, including virtual mapping of Milton Keynes, assessing public acceptance, conducting the necessary safety planning and establishing the regulatory environment with the support of Milton Keynes Council.
The autonomy software running the vehicle, called Selenium, was developed by Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute and integrated by Oxford University spinout company Oxbotica on to an electric vehicle. Selenium uses data from cameras and LIDAR systems to navigate its way around the environment.
The vehicle demonstration took place on pavements around Milton Keynes train station and business district. In the future it is expected that vehicles like those demonstrated in Milton Keynes will be used for local transportation in urban areas.
Neil Fulton, Programme Director at the TSC explained:
“This public demonstration represents a major milestone for autonomous vehicles in the UK and the culmination of an extensive project involving UK companies and experts. Oxford University’s technology will go on to power automated vehicles around the world and the LUTZ Pathfinder project will now feed into a much wider programme of autonomous trials across the UK. Driverless vehicles are coming to Britain and what we have demonstrated today is a huge step on that journey”
Following the trial, the TSC’s Automated Transport Systems team will continue to research the challenges and promote the benefits of increased automation in transport. Fulton commented,
“Through the LUTZ Pathfinder project we have started to create a world leading urban test bed for connected and automated vehicles. We can now capitalise on the unique position of having the environment and the development platform to conduct further research and trials.
To that end we have started work building an automated vehicle test and integration facility, which will enable other UK universities and SMEs to work with the Catapult on new self-driving technology.”
Further quotes and comments
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
“Today’s first public trials of driverless vehicles in our towns is a ground-breaking moment and further evidence that Britain is at the forefront of innovation.
“The global market for autonomous vehicles present huge opportunities for our automotive and technology firms. And the research that underpins the technology and software will have applications way beyond autonomous vehicles.”
Graeme Smith, CEO at Oxbotica:
“The TSC’s Lutz pathfinder project is a great example of Oxbotica’s autonomy software leading the way for self-driving vehicles here in the U.K. This is a landmark step to bringing self-driving vehicles to the streets of the UK and the world. Our unique Selenium software gives vehicles the next generation level of intelligence to safely operate in pedestrianised urban environments.”
“Our leading team of UK-based scientists, mathematicians and engineers have worked incredibly hard to develop this ground-breaking technology, which is bringing self-driving vehicles yet another a step closer to deployment across the world.”
Professor Paul Newman, BP Professor of Information Engineering at Oxford University and co-founder of Oxbotica:
‘It’s great to see our research ideas having a life of their own beyond the lab and being used in public, for the public. Our work with the TSC has given us the opportunity to accelerate the development of our system into the public domain and has given us a platform from which we can now take our expertise onto the world stage.’
In cooperation with UVEK (the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications) and Germany’s Autonomos Labs, Swisscom is enabling the first driverless car to take to Swiss roads. The car in question is a VW Passat, which Autonomos Labs has fitted with sensors, computers and software. The computer drives, steers and brakes the vehicle autonomously, and detects other vehicles and pedestrians by means of laser scanners, radar and video cameras. Special software analyses the data, recognises driving situations and issues the driving commands. Between 4 and 14 May 2015, the car will be taken on test drives through the streets of Zurich. There will be specially trained drivers behind the steering wheel to ensure the necessary safety. UVEK has approved testing on specified routes.
Digitisation changes mobility
The driverless car enables Swisscom to gather empirical data for the mobility of the future. What does this mean for communication networks? How can vehicles, objects and people be optimally networked? Efficient traffic control systems result in less congestion, which in turn helps the environment and reduces economic costs: good reasons for Swisscom to get involved in the issue of future mobility. Christian Petit, Head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers, says: “Swisscom is not turning into a car manufacturer. But future innovations in the automotive industry will centre on networking with the environment. For this reason, the driverless car is a prime example of digitisation and therefore of great interest to us.” As a leading ICT provider, Swisscom is perfectly positioned to network cars, objects and people. Moreover, the company intends to initiate debate on the topic. Driverless cars will throw up numerous questions. Should people still be allowed to steer a car if it is safer without the human factor? How will the laws be modified? Who is liable in the event of an accident?
Gradual steps towards driverless cars
Swisscom is already a pioneer in future mobility. The company analyses the anonymised location data of mobile phones for the Federal Roads Office and provides forecasts about traffic developments in big data projects. Thanks to the Internet of Things, a driverless car of the future will know what parking spaces are free even before it arrives, and head to them directly. Swisscom is also currently conducting tests in Zurich and Geneva on an alternative network for the Internet of Things, through which everyday objects can communicate with minimal energy consumption. Another potential example is companies renting out their parking spaces temporarily when they are free, while Swisscom is also looking at how the car could become a mobile workplace or cinema.
It will still be some time before autonomous cars are driving on Swiss roads on a wide scale and technology will take the wheel only gradually. Safety, comfort and traffic guidance will further improve as networking becomes more extensive.
Swisscom Business Campus
The driverless car is to be stationed at the new Swisscom Business Campus on Turbinenstrasse in Zurich during the test period. The Business Campus is a work space where Swisscom employees team up with corporate customers to develop ideas on digitisation, reflect on their impact on the economy and society, and consider the resulting opportunities for their company.
The driverless car was developed in the Autonomos innovation laboratory at the Free University of Berlin. Scientists there work on the development of autonomous and driver assistance systems with the objective of preventing traffic accidents in the future and increasing road safety through the use of modern computer and sensor technology. www.autonomos-labs.com
Battery-powered driverless cars will run on the pavements of Britain within TWO YEARS
GPS technology will enable the battery-driven two-person “pods” to steer round objects, people and each other as part of a “science fiction future”
Driverless cars that can hit speeds of 12mph will be gliding along pavements and using sensors to avoid hitting pedestrians by 2015.
GPS technology will enable the battery-driven two-person “pods” to steer round objects, people and each other.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The number of cars in the world is expected to reach four billion by 2050, four times today’s number, so it is important that the UK is at the cutting edge of new technologies.
“Driverless cars have the potential to generate the kind of high-skilled jobs we want Britain to be famous for as well as cutting congestion and pollution and improving road safety.”
The £2-a-trip pods will be hailed and paid for via a mobile phone app.
David Willetts, the minister for higher education at the business department, said the scheme was part of a “science fiction future”.
He added: “In 25 years we will look back and be amazed at how much time we used to waste driving ourselves places.
“We will be hopping into a car that will drive us to the cinema where we will tell it ‘park yourself and come back and get me at 10.15pm.’
“One aim is to see if driverless cars are safer so we can cut road traffic accidents. They don’t get drunk or drive under the influence of drugs. They don’t get exhausted and fall asleep.”
Google introduced driverless cars in California last year and they have now driven 400,000 miles in America without a single accident
A £65million trial of the cars in Milton Keynes, Bucks, starts in 2015. The 100-strong fleet is expected to be fully operational two years later.