Scotland is “open for business” to develop driverless vehicles, says cabinet secretary Michael Matheson.
The minister wants the country to spearhead the testing and development of autonomous driving technology.
Transport Scotland’s new “Scotland Roadmap” sets out plans to place Scottish companies at the forefront of innovation.
One of his first projects is a fleet of autonomous buses connecting Fife and Edinburgh, via the Forth Road bridge.
A consortium of partners from government, industry and academia collaborates in the design, development and operation of the entire fleet.
The plan is designed to keep Scotland at the forefront of developments in the connected and autonomous vehicle (Cav) industry.
Cav’s roadmap defines the future vision of how Scotland can benefit from and contribute to the sector.
According to a recent report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), more than 95% of vehicles on the road in the UK will be connected vehicles by 2025.
2020 will mark an important milestone when the Cav Forth project tests the first large autonomous bus fleet in passenger service after receiving partial funding of £ 4.35 million from the British government.
Cav Scotland, a Transport Scotland conference and event, will bring together global experts to assess the latest developments and discuss future trials and research.
Transport Scotland will also work closely with the Department of Transport, other road authorities and European counterparts to determine regulations for the adoption of Cav technologies on the Scottish road network.
Transport Scotland has already completed a test of beacons, capable of transmitting messages in an application displayed on a smart phone mounted in the vehicle. The successful test consisted in sending static information on the travel time when crossing the point on the network where the equipment was installed.
The report indicates that the diversity of Scotland’s strategic road network offers opportunities to test and test connected and autonomous vehicles and the technologies that will enable them.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said, “I am delighted to launch Cav’s roadmap and meet one of the key commitments in our agenda for government.
” explains how Scotland can play a key role in this fast-moving industry, as well as the steps we need to take to unlock these opportunities.
“I intend Scotland to be at the forefront of these technologies. We are open to companies to test, demonstrate and pilot tests of autonomous vehicles.
” The deployment of connected and automated vehicles has the potential to bring transformative changes in people’s lives – not just in the way we travel, but in the way we work, where we live, the environment and safety. “