A report conducted by London's lawmakers has claimed that the city is currently not equipped to facilitate the forthcoming self-driving revolution.
The UK capital was tipped by many industry analysts to become an early adopter of cutting-edge transport technology which would see autonomous cars deployed on city streets and driverless buses integrated into London's public transportation system.
The UK government has projected that connected vehicles and autonomous cars will be on Britain's roads by 2021. However, it appears that a combination of poor infrastructure and connectivity woes will ensure that London doesn't see the introduction of self-driving cars in its city until at least a decade later.
The report was conducted and subsequently submitted by the London Assembly's transport committee. In the transport study, it was made clear that the adoption and introduction of autonomous vehicles in the capital city would not occur until between 2030 -2040.
A representative for London Assembly transport committee said, “There is much hype around CAVs becoming a feature of our roads in the imminent future. This is not likely to be the case, with 2030 to 2040 more realistic for widespread rollout."
It was also highlighted that the level of urban congestion in London means that driverless cars could potentially risk bringing the city to a complete standstill in the event of a high take-up of autonomous vehicles.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is actively campaigning to try and make car-sharing the norm before driverless cars are introduced to the city. The report provides a generally bleak assessment of London's readiness for a range of transport technologies, and they're outlined clearly below.
• Autonomous buses may be preferable to driverless cars but would mean thousands of jobs as drivers are eliminated.
• Safety and performance issues mean delivery drones are unlikely to remove a significant amount of freight from roads; they will probably only be suitable for "last mile" of the delivery chain.
• Uber's troubled history in London, including legal challenges and contribution to congestion, shows risks of under-preparation for disruptive technologies.
• App-based dockless-bicycle program oBike had to be withdrawn from London after customers left its machines blocking walkways and streets. Concept has huge potential but will need licensing.
•Demand-responsive buses that can be hailed via an app and operate to constantly varying routes and timetables could fill in gaps in network.