Government research shows driverless cars will reduce delays.

'The study demonstrates that driverless cars offer major potential benefits when the proportion of them on the road is higher than the proportion of older, more traditional vehicles,' the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

The report found:

  • when measuring peak traffic periods with a maximum of up to 100% of driverless vehicles, the researchers saw journey times reduced by more than 11% and delays cut by more than 40%;
  • on urban roads, benefits are seen in peak traffic periods even with low levels of automated vehicles on roads, including a 12% improvement in delays and a 21% improvement in journey time reliability.

However, on major roads where traditional vehicles outnumbered automated vehicles, the benefits were 'relatively small'.

The project used computer software to create virtual models of the UK road network.

The DfT also released findings of a scoping study to understand the main social and behavioural questions relating to automated vehicles (AVs).

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