Christmas came early for automated driving enthusiasts this week. Convening a two-day summit in Brussels on the subject – the first of its kind – the European Commission promised a sack of goodies in the form of dedicated funding, regulatory changes, cross-border agreements and innovation stimulus.
Driverless trucks could be a reality on European motorways within two years, officials said. They would first operate in convoys where the first truck is driven by a human being but all the trucks following are driverless.
It’s the first step in a roadmap, to be published by the Commission as part of its transport strategy on 31 May, that could see driverless cars integrated with traffic by 2025.
“Owning a non-autonomous car will soon be like owning a horse,” said Carlos Moedas, the EU commissioner for research, science and innovation, who spoke at the conference.