Self-driving cars could offer £62bn to UK economy by 2030, says SMMT

The UK could gain a £62bn boost to its economy by 2030 if it helps car manufacturers launch their autonomous car technology in the country and by securing a favourable Brexit deal.

A report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Frost & Sullivan revealed that the UK has the potential to emerge as the world’s number one location for the mass-market potential of connected and autonomous vehicles.

In addition to financial benefits, the self-driving technology will save lives due to the safety benefits provided by driver assistance and self-driving technology that could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade.

Australia unveils A$100bn investment plans for infrastructure projects

The Government of Australia revealed plans to invest approximately A$100bn ($71.16bn) on various infrastructure projects over the next decade with a focus on road and rail projects.

The allocation of A$100bn announced by the government in its 2019-20 budget is nearly 30% more than the A$75bn proposed in last year’s budget.

This investment includes an increase of A$3bn for the Urban Congestion Fund taking it to $4bn, a A$2.2bn Road Safety Package along with an additional A$1bn for the next phase of the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.

Uber’s unit Advanced Technologies Group gets $1bn investment

A consortium of investors that includes SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor announced plans to invest $1bn in Uber’s newly formed self-driving unit Advanced Technologies Group.

With the investment, the self-driving unit is now valued at $7.25bn.

SoftBank will invest $333m, while Toyota and DENSO will provide a total of $667m.

UAE launches pilot project for eco-friendly road building materials

The UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development teamed up with tyre manufacturer Michelin to launch a pilot programme to test environmentally friendly road construction materials.

Under a two-month pilot programme, a national green road network will be constructed using a mixture of recycled rubber and asphalt concrete, reported state news agency WAM.

The project is said to be the first-of-its-kind in the UAE. It is as part of the country’s efforts to promote innovation, achieve sustainability, encourage recycling, and create a national green road network.

Ford, GM and Toyota to set up consortium for autonomous vehicles

Global car manufacturers Ford, General Motors (GM) and Toyota have agreed to establish a consortium to focus on the safety of self-driving cars in association with the automotive industry group SAE International.

Known as the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), the group will work to create a set of standards for safe advance testing, pre-competitive development, and deployment of SAE Level 4 and 5 automated vehicles.

South Australia to award contract for maintenance of 23,000km of roads

The Government of South Australia prepared to launch a tender process for the maintenance of the state’s entire 23,000km road network, comprising 14,000km of sealed and 9,000km of unsealed roads.

Presently, around 60% of the annual road maintenance budget is delivered by industry through external contracts.

The road network is owned by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

Volvo and Harris Poll find distracted drivers biggest threat on roads

A survey by Volvo with the Harris Poll found that more than 50% of motorists consider distracted drivers to be the biggest threat on road, while more than 90% of motorists admitted to talking on their phone while driving.

The survey was conducted online last June also found that the Gen Xers are the biggest offenders.

This survey included responses from more than 2,000 adults aged 18 and older, with 1,665 of them being drivers.

Construction begins on Van Don-Mong Cai Expressway in Vietnam

A joint venture (JV) of construction firms of Sun Group started construction on VND11tn ($485m) Van Don-Mong Cai Expressway in Vietnam.

The People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province awarded the contract to the JV, which includes Long Van Infrastructure Investment and Development Company, Van Don Sun JSC and Cong Thanh Transportation and Construction.

To be constructed under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public-private partnership (PPP) contract, the expressway will reduce travel time from Van Don to Mong Cai from two hours to less than one hour.

BMW plans to test self-driving cars in Israel

BMW Group revealed plans to start tests of self-driving cars in Israel by the end of this year.

The testing of autonomous cars is expected to start simultaneously with the opening of BMW research and development (R&D) centre in the country.

Citing the German press, reported that the move is part of BMW’s strategy to speed up the testing of its autonomous vehicle platform.

Balfour Beatty deploys drones to oversee M6 smart motorway project

Construction firm Balfour Beatty teamed up with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specialist Heliguy to deploy drones, including the DJI Phantom 4 RTK, to oversee the development of M6 smart motorway in the Midlands, UK.

The construction firm is using drones for quick stockpile measurements, informative aerial progress reports along with accessing hard-to-reach areas.

In addition to Phantom 4 RTK, Balfour Beatty is using Mavic Pro and the Inspire 1 with X5 camera to boost efficiency, collect data, improve asset productivity and get accurate results.