CRRC Zhuzhou ART optically guided bus at Yibin in China (Photo: 来斤小仓鼠吧/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Photos: 来斤小仓鼠吧/CC BY-SA 4.0

CRRC Zhuzhou ART optically guided bus at Yibin in China.

UK: The government is to enable the Transport & Works Act process to be used to grant powers for transport projects using non-physical guidance systems.

At present the TWA process only covers modes with physical guidance, such as tracks or cables. The planned change is intended to facilitate the development and deployment of technologies for non-physical guidance, such as using sensors to detect road markings or read the surrounding environment.

It would also allow TWA applications to be approved for fully autonomous driverless vehicles using non-physical forms of guidance, subject to them complying with the requirements of any other relevant legislation.

The Department for Transport undertook a consultation on the proposed changes which attracted 16 responses, of which 15 supported the proposed legislative change and one was neutral.

DfT said it is aware of one transport authority looking to apply for a TWA order for a guided busway where there would be a driver onboard but guidance by sensor technology.

The intention is to lay the draft order before parliament by the end of 2022. The change would apply to England and Wales.