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Uber, Waymo and Zoox meet with Transport Secretary to discuss Autonomous Vehicle ‘opportunities’

Updated: May 23

Uber, Waymo and Zoox have all discussed autonomous vehicle ‘opportunities in the UK’ with the Transport Secretary.

Records show that on 30 November 2023, Mark Harper, the Government’s Transport Secretary of State, met with Uber, Waymo and Zoox to discuss autonomous vehicle technology and opportunities in the UK, following the announcement of the Automated Vehicle Bill in the King’s Speech.

The recent enactment of the UK Government’s Automated Vehicles (AV) Act marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards integrating self-driving cars into everyday life by 2026. The legislation, first announced in the King's Speech, is designed to allow advanced technologies to safely operate vehicles.

The AV Act is expected to spark an industry estimated to be worth up to £42 billion, while creating 38,000 skilled jobs by 2035. A key focus of the legislation is improving road safety. Automated vehicles are said to lower the current rate of human error, which is responsible for 88% of all road traffic collisions. By setting rigorous safety standards, possibly surpassing those expected of a skilled human driver, the aim is to reduce accidents caused by drink driving, speeding, and lack of attention.

However, the discussions have not yet addressed the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on the taxi and private hire sectors, which provide livelihoods for nearly 300,000 drivers in England and Wales. As the move towards autonomous vehicles progresses fast, this oversight points to a need for broader dialogue about how this shift will affect existing transport industries, society and the economy.


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