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Minister predicts talking cars


Cars that “talk to each other” will revolutionise the way Britain’s roads are used, a senior government figure has said.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said inter-communicating vehicles would make journeys smoother and more focused.

Speaking at a Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation conference, Jones said smart technology had the potential to change society.

“One of the most interesting areas of development is cars that talk to each other,” he said. “We already have the technology.

“The systems we use today to bring music and entertainment and GPS information into our vehicles will help us build a smart vehicle network.

“If a car ahead hits congestion, it will immediately alert other cars so they can take another route.

“Or connected systems could reserve you a parking space at your destination as soon as you get into your car. No more driving around town centres on a fruitless search.”

A project to identify how data could be used to support driverless cars last month won government funding.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin – who runs the Cabinet Office and advises the prime minister – last year told MPs that a transport “revolution” would soon see driverless, electric vehicles slash air pollution, reduce the need for new roads and almost eliminate traffic accidents.

And a key technology figure last year told New Civil Engineer that the first generation of people who would never need to drive had already been born.

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