£20m government funding for driverless vehicle technology

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This month the government awarded £20million funding to a series of driverless vehicle initiatives, including autonomous valet parking and driverless mobility as a service schemes, plus 20 other connected and autonomous vehicle (CAVs) R&D projects that will develop technology to make autonomous vehicles a reality.

The potential for driverless vehicle technology to be employed within the logistics and supply chain industries has been discussed at length – our CEO, Mike Danby, gave SHD Logistics his thoughts on the subject.

“Technology is driving our industry forward, but I think driverless vehicles are, in reality, a lot further in the future than the government’s ambitions. Currently, it’s just not workable. Yes, we can get a truck from A to B, but what happens when it arrives? Each site is unique and the supply chain is increasingly complicated for a whole host of reasons. If we’re not careful and become distracted by an over-focus on this issue, the productivity gains made by the technology of driverless vehicles could be quickly reversed by the logistics challenges the technology would bring along with it.

“Any technology that encourages innovation within the supply chain is of course to be welcomed but, the fact is, most of the industry isn’t making the best use of the technology that exists right now. It’s crucial that we think seriously about future innovations and begin to build a picture of how the supply chain of the future might look, but let’s first channel our efforts – and investment – into better utilising the capabilities that exist at our fingertips.”

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