Why the route to driverless vehicle platoons on our roads is still miles away

‘The driverless trucks trial receiving the green light is a clear signal from the UK government that autonomous vehicles are important to the future of our roads.

‘Whilst automotive companies are releasing connected vehicles, the route to driverless vehicle platoons on our roads is still miles away. The government still needs to know more, but projects like this are great tests for what a national programme could look like.

‘One area of focus will be the infrastructure that supports the vehicles in transit. Autonomous vehicles require reliable, blanket Wi-Fi coverage first and foremost. And yet currently cellular/wireless networks don’t support a mobile phone on the entire train journey from Bristol to London.

‘Smaller, secure data centres may also be necessary along the motorways and in urban hubs to protect the public from systems failures as well as process the data generated. The data can drive great value such as being able to regulate speeds or track traffic flow, but getting the digital ecosystem requires investment as much as the vehicles themselves.’

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