On Wednesday 12th June in my capacity as Transport Minister I visited the launch of the new exhibition ‘Driverless: Who is in control?’ at the National Science Museum.
This exhibition showcases how close we are to living in a world driven by thinking machines. From self-driving cars to autonomous flying drones and smart underwater vehicles, like the Autosub Long Range fleet that includes the infamous ‘Boaty McBoatface’, the exhibition is exploring how much of what is perceived to be futuristic technology already exists today.
At this exhibit I saw some real examples of driverless vehicles, including the classic 1960 Citroen DS19 car that was modified in the UK to ‘self-drive’ in the earliest experiments in driverless technology. A more modern example shown at the exhibit is the Robocar, a self-driving electric racing car. These are just a few examples of what is on show, but everything here proves that the UK is a world leader when it comes to the future of mobility and autonomous vehicles.
It is my belief that self-driving technologies have tremendous potential for road safety, mobility and the economy. The possibilities for self-driving technologies are considerable: people will be able to be mobile who previously struggled to be mobile, people could travel without pollution and without congestion, new jobs will be created, and exciting new opportunities will be developed for the future. My priority for our roads is, of course, safety- and driverless cars must meet rigorous safety standards.
The Government is exploring these opportunities through its Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, as well as investing £150 million into Research and Development around connected and autonomous vehicles over the next few years. It is great to see the world-famous Science Museum exploring this exciting innovation and its implications for future transport, and inspire the next generation of engineers. The exhibition is open until October.
You can read more about my visit here: https://www.standard.co.uk/tech/autonomous-technology-london-10-years-time-science-museum-a4167596.html.