A report published by the London Assembly Transport Committee has called on Transport for London (TfL) to prepare for the advent of drones, droids and autonomous cars.
The report authors believe connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) or driverless cars won’t be on the road until the 2030s at least, and could add to congestion. They also contend that dockless cycle schemes need to be able to operate across London to be effective and there is no control system in place for drones and droids. While it says TfL is monitoring technological developments, the report says this needs to be embedded across the whole organisation.
The report recommends that the mayor, TfL and government should consider the potential development and impact of autonomous bus technology; examine whether to introduce a London-wide licensing regime for dockless cycle hire; develop the principles of a new regulatory regime for demand-responsive bus services; ensure data produced by apps powered by underlying TfL data is shared with TfL; and consider an integrated control system for ground-based autonomous vehicles and airborne drones.
“The opportunity to improve mobility for millions of Londoners is here but it will require proper planning, transparency and accountability, as well as cooperation with government, boroughs and development companies,” said Keith Prince AM, chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee.
“TfL have been caught napping on the technology front and it’s time to wake up. Uber, then oBike are two examples of a poorly prepared regulator which seems to be making it up as they go along.
“Go back to 2014 in its Future Proof report, this committee warned that ‘TfL needs to be prepared for the inevitable consequences of a transport environment in which technology is evolving faster than the legislation that is needed to govern its use.’ It’s clear that warning was ignored let’s hope this warning won’t be.”