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IMI urges action on driverless technology

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is urging automotive businesses to focus on the training of technologies related to autonomous driving.

This comes as the government reveals plans to review road rules to allow for driverless cars on UK roads.

The IMI is concerned that, whilst the government is pushing ahead with making driverless cars a reality, the service and repair sector does not yet have the skills and infrastructure in place to deal with the new technology.

Recent research showed there was still a great deal of doubt and confusion amongst MPs on driverless cars, despite the government’s direction on the issue. A Dods survey showed that almost half of MPs questioned were against further investment in autonomous vehicle research, whilst a sizeable 42% remained unsure of the impact autonomous vehicles would have on road safety. Meanwhile, 51% were unsure of the impact that autonomous vehicles would have on the insurance industry.

IMI chief executive Steve Nash said: “The review is a statement of intent by the government, who are forging ahead with bringing driverless cars to UK roads in 2015.

“Businesses must begin investing in training on the latest vehicle technologies in order to meet future demands. Even if driverless cars do not become common, their development will accelerate the inclusion of driver aid and driver safety systems on modern vehicles, raising the skills requirement to work on them.

“With MPs highly divided in their view of driverless cars and no licence to practice currently required to work in the industry, it is vital that the automotive industry steps up and takes the lead on this issue. It will be our reputation on the line when motorists are let down.

“Meanwhile the IMI will continue to campaign for a licence to practice for our sector. This would guarantee standards are in place, as well as ensuring those who invest in training are on a level playing field with those who do not. We believe the government is yet to fully grasp the pressures we are under.”

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