Do you have difficulties when parallel parking? Well if a new government initiative becomes successful, you may no longer need to!
Companies are being invited to bid for up to £30 million worth of funding, in order to develop self-driving vehicles across the UK. Organised by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Meridian, the Government’s hub for testing autonomous technology, up to £5 million of this pot will be specifically available for projects developing and testing autonomous parking technology.
The initiative is part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy to outline design, development and manufacturing of transport systems for the future. The funds will also support two public testing sites for self-driving cars in urban environments, in what is a new landmark for Europe.
The government hopes to have fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021. Graham Hoare, Chair of the Automotive Council’s Technology Group, said the latest developments create a “one stop shop” mindset for the industry.
Business Minister Richard Harrington said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to revolutionise the way we move people and goods across the UK.
“Today’s funding will bring self-driving vehicles one step closer to becoming a normal feature on UK roads and could, in time, make learning to parallel park a thing of the past.”
Technology is certainly on the forefront of the UK vehicle development plans – back in 2015, the UK Autodrive project launched, which alongside the likes of Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC), has worked towards self-driving cars.
The UK Autodrive Project now claims to have developed technology for self-driving vehicles to find their own parking. The vehicles contain two brand new autonomous parking-related technologies, helping them identify the location of an available parking space and inform the driver.
The technology also sends out a heat-map – showing all available spots when entering a car park. It uses real time data from connected cars to show which spaces are vacant and which have filled up.
The new developments could reduce congestion on roads in the future, after Autodrive found 30% of urban traffic is caused by drivers on the hunt for parking spaces.
Autodrive is also looking into valet parking systems, whereby vehicles could drop off passengers at their required destinations moving off and parking away from busy areas.
How will this affect the pco car rentals market? Will a reliance on technology increase pco car hire across the city? Will drivers become a thing of the past when all cars can drive themselves? Keep reading Pace Hire to read about all tech developments as they happen!