Will Google’s UK Tests Aid Underground Toll Road Plans?
The UK government is beginning to fund large scale transportation projects, such as the underground toll road tunnel, proposed by Boris Johnson.
This is a plan for two tunnel roads that will lead under London. The idea is that with an exploding population these tunnels will provide an infrastructure, capable of incorporating new smart mobility technologies.
This announcement, coming just days after Google announced they were interested in testing, it’s new autonomous vehicles in the UK. Will Google and UK parliament work together on transport innovation? With the freedom MP’s have to implement and change infrastructure, combined with Google’s engineering prowess. We would all like the answer to that question to be yes.
“By pushing forward strategic initiatives we are outlining today, we will lay the foundation for the next wave of improvements to everyone’s experience of the road network across the city,” part of Boris Johnson’s statement. With this we can see a shift in the way politicians are thinking, with more adventurous projects and of course more funding mean big corporations such as Google will come into play.
Isabel Dedring, Britain’s deputy mayor for transport said “It’s going to have to work in big cities, so why don’t we start trialing it now?”
Google has been working on self-driving car technology for more than five years, and introduced its own Little Tikes Cozy Coupe-like vehicle in 2014. Since then, the prototype has traveled millions of miles on California and Texas roads. The company last week announced plans to branch out and test a handful of autonomous Lexus RX450h SUVs in Washington state.
“We met them a few weeks ago to see whether they would do trials here,” Dedring told The Guardian. “It is still very early days, but we would be keen for trials to happen in London whenever Google are ready to move them into other countries.”
Of course it is very early stages of this project, as Google would not comment on the meeting with Dedring. First published on ‘Thinking Highways’