As the United Kingdom moves into active negotiations to set in motion its departure from the European Union, the Queen’s Speech, marking the opening of the parliamentary year and setting legislative goals for the year to come, set the country on a path towards leadership in the field of automated vehicles. Announced during the event on June 21st, the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill sets measures to increase the number of electric vehicles in the UK as well as setting UK sights on an ambitious technological push in self-driving cars.

The bill aims to create an environment receptive to the automotive industry it hopes to spur, expanding insurance coverage to include automated vehicles in a signal of the government’s awareness of the legal ramifications of this development and the demands it places on legislators. Additionally, the government aims to set zero-emission requirements across all vehicle types by 2050, pave the way for legislation requiring EV charging point at service areas and gas stations, and set common standards for charging points.

With official government research suggesting a market of some £28 billion for automated vehicles by 2035, the government announced a pledge to invest more than £200 million in research and testing infrastructure specifically dedicated to the development of self-driving cars.

This announcement is the next, substantial stage in what is already strong support for the development of such future-forward transportation technology, with programs underway exploring new communication technologies, traffic light systems, trials of driverless pods, among a broad range of autonomous vehicle technologies being tested with the cooperation of major automotive companies such as Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Tata Motors and Jaguar.

While the UK is certainly not the first nation to set its targets on automated vehicle development, its £200 million investment places it squarely in the hunt as the once promising Obama-era self-driving program, announced in 2016, is coming under scrutiny under the new President and other nations have yet to reach the same level with their investments.

The BBC reported on the Queen’s Speech and its automated and electric vehicle related news.
Bloomberg explores businesses’ reactions to the bill.
Wired details existing UK autonomous vehicle efforts.
Trump administration skepticism casts doubt on future of autonomous programs.
Trump’s infrastructure budget cuts threaten vehicle research.
Australia’s own autonomous vehicle program, which is under half of the UK’s investment

All news


Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.