The Windsor MP has discovered through a Parliamentary Question that the Government has made progress on its plans to introduce self-driving cars to UK roads.
Last year the Government announced that it was backing a pathfinder to assess the technological and societal impact of driverless pods in Milton Keynes.
The Government has supported a number of projects in the UK, including UKAutodrive, Venturer and GATEway in order to deliver more precise autonomous systems and examine the intermediate steps necessary to integrate self-driving cars into modern Britain.
The question follows a Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week in which stories about driverless cars in exhibits from Ford, Audi and even Blackberry featured heavily in the news headlines.
Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:
“Self-driving cars are one of the most exciting inventions of the past few decades. As the technology goes from strength to strength we can expect to see more and more self-driving cars on our roads in the coming decades which have the potential to significantly improve road safety and reduce congestion.
“A forward-looking government will embrace this kind of transformative technology and I’m delighted that the Government both recognises the need for Britain to prepare for this exciting but disruptive new technology and safely allow the private sector to lead the way.
“With the Conservatives we can look forward to a brighter future in which we prioritise backing the technologies of the future rather than propping up the technologies of the past.
“Cars were once unaffordable to most people but soon everyone will be able to enjoy the safety of relatively inexpensive driverless cars with an inbuilt “chauffeur” that lets them work or relax on route.
“The benefits to business efficiency and people’s quality of life will be life-changing.
“This is yet another example of the positive benefits technology and the free market can bring to business efficiency, people’s quality of life and safety on the road.”
Note to editors
- Adam Afriyie has a strong background and interest in science, technology and innovation due to his entrepreneurial background in the IT sector and a variety of posts he has held and/or currently holds, including Shadow Minister for Science, President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).