Autonomous vehicles must prove their worth before cities adapt

Before any drastic changes are made, planning authorities are keen to see how prototype vehicles cope with existing road networks. By Freddie Holmes

AVs have attracted a significant level of hype over the years, and city planners around the world are keen to ensure everything adds up: would a robotaxi service be affordable for most riders; how would such a service reduce traffic congestion; and how might autonomous delivery services impact employment opportunities?

In the UK, the city of London has been investigating how autonomous vehicle (AV) technology might benefit its streets for many years, with developments led by the government’s Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). This office reports to two ministries within the UK government: the Department for Transport (DfT), which is responsible for implementing transport initiatives, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which handles economic matters. In doing so, London can investigate innovative new mobility solutions while supporting economic growth and job creation.

Nissan autonomous vehicle London SMLL
London has hosted numerous pilots in recent years
Special report: How are cities preparing for autonomous vehicles?

As with public trials elsewhere, those…