From TT to AV: will the Isle of Man become a self-driving testbed?
The island is best known for its world-famous TT motorbike race and lack of speed limits; however, it appears that new regulations could be putting the Isle of Man on the map for different reasons. The government is reportedly underway in establishing this area as a place for technology companies and car manufacturers to start testing and advancing their autonomous cars.
With talks already underway, it is thought that the authorities are currently setting up focus groups to determine whether this technology is suited to the island and its landscape. It is also investigating whether any of the laws will need adapting to accommodate the research of this new technology.
Incentives for companies using the area
In a bid to get the car giants into the region to test their inventions, the group is also looking at ways in which it could incentivise companies to use the area for their research.
Due to the governing body of the island being so small, it is thought that any new laws that need introducing can be done so far more quickly than with larger legislatures. This will enable the Isle of Man to put the guidelines in place to accommodate self-driving cars more rapidly than other places.
Legal adaptations can be made rapidly
Speaking about these changes, the island’s minister for environment, food and agriculture, Phil Gawne, suggested that the work involved could take as little as a month, with the legal adaptations in place in as little as two to three months.
He also added that the benefits to the Isle of Man would be vast, propelling it forward as an innovative locale and furthering its independence.
While no companies have expressed any interest in testing their cars there yet, many manufacturers believe there are benefits to be had. It won’t take long for word of these advantages to spread, as seen by companies such as http://www.rightdrive.co.uk when dealing with car finance bad credit in Portsmouth.
The first autonomous vehicle designs are due to be seen as early as July, when driverless pods will hit Greenwich’s roads as they transfer passengers to Terminal Five at Heathrow Airport from the business parking area.