Skip to content

Towns and cities must be better supported to prepare for rollout of driverless vehicles – new research

Contact us

For help with a story or to find an expert

Email: pressoffice@shu.ac.uk
Phone: 01142 252811

On social media

 Twitter (press office)
 Twitter (university)
 Facebook
 Instagram
 YouTube

20 September 2022

Towns and cities must be better supported to prepare for rollout of driverless vehicles – new research

As the Government announces plans to rollout self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2025, new research by Sheffield Hallam University suggests local policymakers across the country need to be supported to engage with the technology to shape how it will affect their communities

Press contact: Jo Beattie | j.beattie@shu.ac.uk

An electric car plugged into a charging point

Under the Government’s plan some vehicles, including cars, coaches and lorries, with self-driving features could be operating on motorways in the next year. It also sets out new legislation which will allow for the wider rollout of self-driving vehicles by 2025 and £100m to support industry investment and fund research on safety developments.

Self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology has been in development for a number of years, with dozens of companies around the world working on and testing vehicles. Some of them are already on public roads.

Research by Professor Ed Ferrari and Dr Stephen Parkes from the University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) found that regional policymakers not involved in current trials were unlikely to engage with the technology due to a lack of resources and uncertainty about timescales around rollout.

However, they argue that local decision makers need to be engaged now to shape and plan for a potential mass adoption of CAVs, and what it will mean for their communities, rather than have it imposed on them by central government.

The research was commissioned by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and the findings have been published in an RSA Policy Impact book Connected and Autonomous Vehicles – the challenges facing cities and regions.

Dr Stephen Parkes, Research Fellow in CRESR, said: “Much of the attention on connected and autonomous vehicles currently focuses on the trials being undertaken in controlled environments or the range of benefits they will arguably bring.

“Yet the prospect of more highly connected and autonomous vehicles also has the potential to be extremely disruptive and present further challenges for urban policymakers.

“The proposals by Government are highly ambitious and there remain several unanswered questions around how this can be implemented. We believe it is important to explore what the transition to CAVs would mean more broadly for cities and regions and what the broader implications might be for those places that are not currently actively engaged in planning for CAVs and undertaking trials.”

 

Contact us

For help with a story or to find an expert

Email: pressoffice@shu.ac.uk
Phone: 01142 252811

On social media

 Twitter (press office)
 Twitter (university)
 Facebook
 Instagram
 YouTube

Share this page