UK driverless car advance ‘slowed by potholes and poor broadband’

New research finds that the self-driving vehicle cause is being let down by bad infrastructure

Nissan driverless car demonstration
Nissan driverless car demonstration

A new study has found that the development of self-driving vehicles in the UK is being hampered by potholes on roads and poor broadband.

Analysis by consultancy KPMG found that although the UK led the charge in the promotion of self-driving vehicles, it was being let down by an overall lack of high-quality infrastructure.

Slow mobile networks mean that cars can’t communicate with one another as effectively – and KPMG says the UK “lags behind other countries in 4G coverage”.

Local road quality was highlighted in the report as well, particularly around towns where potholes are a common sight. The study also found that public scepticism about driverless cars was higher than in other countries included in the report.

However, it acknowledged that the UK was pushing towards better mobile networks, with extensive investments in 5G testing.

But it also admitted that the UK “needs to continue proactive efforts to address the critical factors of infrastructure and consumer acceptance”.

The survey looked to find out how well countries were preparing for the arrival of driverless technology and placed the UK seventh out of 25 – behind the Netherlands, Singapore, Norway, the US, Sweden and Finland.

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