Norfolk needs to plan now so roads ready for rise of driverless cars, warn officers
- Credit: AP
The predicted rise of driverless cars in the future means planning must be done now to make sure Norfolk's roads are suitable for the robot revolution, councillors will be told.
The motor industry is pumping billions each year into developing autonomous vehicles, although Google co-founder Sergey Brin's 2012 claim the general public would be able to use such cars within five years did not come to pass.
However, the Department for Transport says trials of self-driving cars on public roads without a safety drivers could happen by the end of this year, with people able to buy and use the vehicles on the nation's streets by 2021.
The vehicles work by combining a variety of sensors to understand their surroundings, with their control systems interpreting the information they get to identify a suitable and safe route.
And officers at Norfolk County Council want to ensure that councillors are aware of the implications the advent of the autonomous vehicles could have on the county's roads network.
You may also want to watch:
They have produced a report into the issue, which will come before members of the council's digital innovation and efficiency committee today (Wednesday).
In that report, Kurt Frary, the council's infrastructure services manager and David Cumming, the authority's interim team leader transport, highlight the potential benefits of driverless cars.
- 1 Air ambulance called and A47 closed after incident
- 2 Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in A47 crash
- 3 Major Lowestoft road partially closed due to police incident
- 4 Why this Norfolk village is one of the best in the UK
- 5 Man airlifted to hospital with serious head injuries after fight near pub
- 6 Market traders 'devastated' over council plans to revoke licences
- 7 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
- 8 Hamleys toy shop opens in Norwich shopping centre
- 9 Man arrested on suspicion of firearms offences in Lowestoft
- 10 A47 set for two weeks of roadworks from Monday
They said: 'Autonomous vehicles have the potential to increase opportunities for people to connect, particularly those unable to use traditional vehicles.
'They can also potentially lead to other benefits, such as a reduction in casualties or an increase in the efficiency of the road network.'
However, they said the authority needed to consider the implications of a wide roll out of such vehicles.
That includes whether the council's planning and design of roads meets the safety requirements for future fully or semi-autonomous cars.
Councillors will also be asked to consider whether 'traffic management interventions' would be needed to help the vehicles navigate the network.
And officers also say councillors need to think about whether the driverless cars would lead to extra vehicle movements on the county's roads.