Autonomous vehicles: What are the road blocks?

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New report explores the barriers to adoption of autonomous vehicles in the UK, and beyond

PA Consulting AV report

Have you ever wondered how long it will really take before driverless cars are on our roads? A new report by PA Consulting Group forecasts that autonomous vehicles (AVs) won’t be widespread on UK roads until at least 2027.

According to the report, which is available for download below, even the technology will take an average of 13 years to reach full maturity in the UK. In order to compete in the growing global market, the UK needs a clear plan for how to make the most of AVs—or face getting left behind.

"What we now need is a clear national strategy for the UK to know how it can make the most of AVs, or we face being left far behind our European neighbors,” said Charlie Henderson, roads expert at PA Consulting Group.

"While manufacturers and the media talk enthusiastically about mass uptake of autonomous vehicles, the reality is that there are a number of significant technological, legislative and public confidence barriers."

The report, which details the key barriers to success for the uptake of AVs on UK roads, is based on more than 100 interviews conducted between March 2016 and March 2017 with experts involved in the emerging driverless ecosystem in both the Nordics and UK.

According to the report, key questions to be asked in the coming decade include: 

  • What right does the government have to access and interrogate CAV data?
  • How can police and law enforcement hold driverless vehicles to account?
  • Who is responsible in the event of an accident, threat or suspicious behavior?

The report also found that UK public acceptance is 20 years away, with regulation and legislation posing sizeable road blocks to uptake in the market. Developing public confidence in AVs and clarifying the social and economic benefits of driverless cars are therefore critical to long term success, the report said.

Download the report today to find out why driverless cars are not going to be on our roads any time in the next decade.