Public opinion sought on driverless cars ahead of arrival of first vehicle in Greenwich

By 28th October 2016News

Ahead of the arrival of the first driverless vehicle in Greenwich, members of the public are being asked to share what they think about these new breed of vehicles.

Local residents, businesses, commuters, students and visitors are being encouraged to share their views on driverless vehicles via a web-based sentiment mapping tool as part of a series of public engagement activities within GATEway– an £8million research project to investigate the use, perception and acceptance of automated vehicles in the UK.

Designed by experts from Commonplace, the online heat map is intended to track any changes in public attitude towards driverless vehicles during the two-year project, with contributors able to revisit the site as many times as they like, adding multiple comments. As well as assessing people’s attitudes towards driverless vehicles, contributors will also be asked where they think such vehicles would and wouldn’t work within the area.

“Over the course of the GATEway project we will be trialling a number of driverless vehicles in Greenwich, but what we’re really interested in finding out is what the public think of this new technology,” commented Mike Saunders, Co-Founder of Commonplace.

Councillor Sizwe James, Royal Borough of Greenwich added: added; “This is a chance for members of the public to provide feedback on how driverless vehicles might impact life in and around Greenwich. This is going to be one of the most significant transformations in our transport system and we’re putting local people right at the centre of exciting transformation.”

Over 400 participants have already contributed to the site, which takes roughly one minute to complete. Anyone wishing to take part can do so by visiting: https://gateway.commonplace.is.

GATEway is an important part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s integrated smart city strategy launched in 2015.  The strategy sets out the Council’s plans for using the latest technologies to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population (34% between 2010-2028), to support service transformation at a time of acute pressure on public services,  and to create a stronger economy and more resilient built environment and communities.

GATEway is one of three projects awarded by Innovate UK under its competition entitled ‘Introducing driverless cars to UK roads’. The other two projects are UK Autodrive in Coventry and Milton Keynes, and Venturer in Bristol.