The Scottish Government has published its plans to keep the country ‘at the forefront’ of developments in the connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) industry.
Officials said the CAV Roadmap sets out the future vision for how Scotland can benefit from and contribute to the sector.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: ‘I am delighted to launch the CAV Roadmap and deliver one of the key commitments from our Programme for Government. It sets out 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 for business to test, demonstrate and pilot autonomous vehicle trials.
‘The deployment of connected and automated vehicles has the potential to bring transformative change to peoples’ lives - not just in how we travel, but in how we work, where we live, the environment, and safety.’
Mr Matheson (left) in a driverless pod at CAV Scotland 2019
The document describes its purpose as exploring the opportunities associated with the adoption of CAV technologies on Scotland’s roads and the challenges in their deployment.
It sets out the relationship between these technologies and the Scottish Government’s transport and economic ambitions and explores ‘where and how CAV technologies could be utilised, where and how we can benefit from contributing to their development and what interventions and initiatives might be required for us to unlock these opportunities’.
The document also puts the development of CAV within the context of the key priorities of the Scottish Government’s revised National Transport Strategy, a draft of which was published for consultation in July 2019.
However it notes that a number of the key aspects of the legal framework for autonomous vehicles are ‘reserved matters’, with the UK Government having set a target of having self-driving cars on roads by 2021 and supporting initiatives to enable advanced trials of autonomous vehicles on the road network.
In October the Law Commissions of England and Wales and of Scotland published the second of series of consultations on the legal framework for autonomous vehicles.