RHA Vans: Self-driving vans to hit roads with £40m government funding
The government has announced a £40 million competition for commercial self-driving services, including delivery vans.
The competition, dubbed Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility, will provide grants to self-driving vehicles for commercial use across the UK from 2025.
It will involve vehicles including delivery vans, passenger buses, shuttles and pods, as well as vehicles that move people and luggage at airports and containers at shipping ports.
According to government, the sector could be worth as much as £42bn by 2035 and create 38,0000 jobs.
The government also said it was “continuing to develop” a legal framework for self-driving vehicles to ensure the safety of the technology. It said the Transport Bill, which was highlighted in the Queen’s Speech, will introduce legislation for self-driving vehicles.
The first vehicles to be listed as self-driving in the UK – vehicles approved under the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) Regulation – could be available for people to purchase, lease or rent later this year, it claimed.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “With around 88% of road collisions currently caused by human error, this funding will drive the introduction of new technology to improve travel for all, while boosting economic growth and highly skilled jobs across the nation.”