The benefits of sharing

A new report has highlighted the benefits that could be gained by sharing knowledge across the transport sector.

Published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Automated Vehicles: Cross-modal Learning in Autonomy says that a lack of shared best practice in the transport sector is putting the brakes on the huge benefits, including safety and reduced congestion.

It highlights the need for different industries and transport modes to learn from each other by developing a common approach to software standards, skills development and regulation. Without this transfer of learning the wider use of autonomy in transport will not be realised and wide-ranging opportunities across road, rail, aerospace and maritime will be missed.

Other recommendations in the report include an information campaign to build public confidence in autonomous transport by explaining that it already plays a major part in the UK transport system, and in-depth research to understand the behavioural and societal implications of autonomous transport.

Sahar Danesh from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said, ‘We are already seeing from driverless car trials that we can significantly improve safety is in autonomy. Coupled with this, sectors such as rail and marine, have been running with a degree of autonomy for a number of years and it is vital that we share this best practice so that we can start to realise the benefits of autonomy more quickly. These include improved safety, reduced congestion and better mobility, particularly for older drivers.

‘Currently, individual transport modes are carrying our research in isolation, which is preventing them from learning from the best practice already available in other transport modes. We must improve the learning transfer between different transport modes so that the potential societal benefits can be realised as soon as possible.’