Driverless vehicles

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP sees the future of transport – and it’s driverless

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Electric and Automated Vehicles, Dame Cheryl Gillan MP joined insurer AXA and vehicle manufacturer Westfield as a driverless pod came to Westminster for the first time on Wednesday 20 June.

 AXA and Westfield are two of the partners on the Capri project, one of the UK Government-backed driverless cars consortia trialling the emerging technology in the UK.  With the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill  currently passing through Parliament and the Government targeting the introduction of automated vehicles  by 2021, the reality of driverless cars is fast approaching. Wednesday’s event provided the perfect opportunity for MPs to meet the experts making the transport revolution a reality.

 More than 90% of road traffic accidents are caused by human error but the introduction of driverless technology will impact more than just road safety. Autonomous vehicles will provide mobility solutions for the elderly and disabled, as well as reducing congestion and offering new transport services in urban and rural areas alike.

 Dame Cheryl Gillan MP said:

“ This was a great opportunity to raise awareness amongst MPs and peers about how the technology is developing to bring automated vehicles into everybody’s lives.”

David Williams, Technical Director, AXA UK said:

 “AXA has been involved in the field of autonomous vehicles since 2014, as we recognise the positive societal impact the technology could have. The Westfield Pod offers a glimpse into the future for attendees today, a future which AXA hopes to help make a reality”

 AXA are currently part of five different autonomous vehicle trials across the country, including Capri which is investigating technology that will allow vehicles on both pedestrian and road environments through a new vehicle classification. AXA are paving the way for the use of connected and autonomous vehicles to navigate people safely and seamlessly around airports, hospitals, business parks, shopping and tourist centres. Westfield Technology Group, who manufacture the vehicles and are running trials at Olympic Park, London.