Amey embarks on autonomous vehicle research project

Alistair Duncan, Senior Media Manager
07 June 2016
A digital image of a two person car.
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Amey is embarking on a research project to explore what infrastructure experts think about autonomous vehicle technology.

As the development of driverless cars and other vehicles gathers pace, there is a growing need to fully understand the implications of this revolutionary technology. Amey, as part of the People in Autonomous Vehicles in Urban Environments (PAVE) consortium, based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, has been asked to work alongside government and industry partners to explore what the potential impact will be on the UK’s infrastructure.

Running a series of workshops and other events, Amey will be gathering views from councillors from local authorities around the country, travel planners, emergency services, industry experts and policy makers with a view to understanding the perceived benefits and challenges this new form of transport poses from a range of key perspectives.

The PAVE consortium won funding from government innovation agency Innovate UK for a feasibility study to test public perceptions towards driverless vehicles in recognition of ongoing public apprehension about this radical change in transportation. The findings of this research project could inform future government policies and decisions related to driverless cars over the coming decades. The consortium is due to publish its final report by 2017.

Amey’s IT Director of Smart Data and Technology Dr Rick Robinson said: “The UK has the highest internet search requests on driverless cars anywhere in the world, however recent studies suggest that while people think that driverless car technology potentially offers enormous economic and societal benefits, there are concerns, particularly about safety. While these vehicles remain in development phase, now is an important time to explore the views of people who understand the wider implications of the technology.

We are keen to learn what autonomous vehicles mean for transport infrastructure and how we can design the transport network of tomorrow. We see this project as an exciting opportunity to work as part of a consortium whose focus is not necessarily the technology itself but rather the stakeholder and infrastructure environment in which autonomous vehicles will operate.”

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