Motoring of the future - Transport Contents

5  Conclusion

78. New technologies can deliver transformative change in motoring. Reducing congestion through use of new technologies could free up millions of pounds from the cost of road expansion and river crossings; that money could be spent on improving roads in other parts of the network and ensuring that the benefits from new motoring technologies are seen beyond the strategic road network in urban and rural areas. Some technological developments which would contribute to achieving the Government's wider policy objectives might not be priorities for industry, and some may never be developed without Government incentives. The market alone is unlikely to deliver all the potential benefits. The insurance industry has its own set of priorities that are likely to shape what the automotive industry does, unless there is intervention by the Government to ensure that its wider policy objectives are met and common goods are realised.

79. The rapid proliferation of new motoring and information technology means that transport safety is an increasingly complex policy area. Much of the data which would inform a traditional cost-benefit analysis are not readily available, and some new technology would only deliver safety benefits if it were implemented throughout most or all of the UK fleet. There is a risk that technology will run ahead of Government processes for ensuring safe motoring outcomes.

80. The Government has a responsibility to ensure that the most beneficial safety measures are introduced to the vehicle fleet, as widely and quickly as possible. A long-term vision for a safe transport system free from death and serious injury is likely to require the Government to mandate the uptake of at least some autonomous features, which will require a coherent, strategic approach.

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Prepared 6 March 2015