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The BVRLA Is Looking Forward To The First Driverless Cars Hitting UK Roads Next Year

Under plans announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable, UK cities can now bid for a share of a £10m competition to host a driverless cars trial, with funding supplied by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT). In a bid to establish the UK as a pioneer in driverless cars, the Government has given the green light for them to take to UK roads from January 2015.

Commenting on the announcement, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “This is welcome news, as driverless cars have the potential to reduce congestion, lower emissions and improve road safety. These are some of the biggest transport challenges facing the UK, so it’s great that the government is taking a lead in this area. The BVRLA is confident that the UK rental and leasing industry will play a vital role in delivering the benefits of these advancements to businesses and consumers.”

Up to three cities will be selected to host trials from next year. Each project is expected to start in January 2015 and last between 18 and 36 months. Ministers have also launched a review to look at current road regulations to establish how the UK can ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless cars in the UK

Keaney added: “It’s clearly very early days, but the right legislation and incentives could help our members add driverless vehicles to their fleets, enabling many people to have greater access to this technology.”