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6 Nov 2019

O2, 5G, Driverless car trials in the UK. What are the hopes and Fears Around Self-Driving Cars?

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O2 announced strong growth this year.

Revenues increased by 4.1 per cent to £1.6 billion over the past three months, while the number of users on the network, a figure which includes customers of MVNO partners such as Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile and Giffgaff, rose by 5.6 per cent to 34.1 million.  O2 itself now has 26 million customers.

“As the UK’s largest network, we’re proud of our ability to keep attracting and retaining customers, which ensures a healthy business and drives both top and bottom line growth,” said O2 CEO Mark Evans.

“Our Q3 performance continues the strong momentum we saw in the first half of the year, powered by a relentless focus on our customers through award-winning coverage and great offerings such as flexible Custom Plans and limitless data.

“We’re moving at pace with our 5G rollout, already live in six UK cities rising to twenty by the end of the year. 5G offers critical support to the UK’s digital economy, supporting jobs and growth. That’s why we welcome Ofcom’s recent statement updating the rules for the planned auction of more 5G airwaves. This will help operators to deliver greater value and better connectivity to the public.”

O2 will provide 3.4GHz spectrum for a trial of 5G driverless cars in the London starting in the Spring. The capital is viewed as an ideal testbed because of its dense population and complex street layout. Partners in the ‘Smart Mobility Lab’ project include Cisco, DG Cities, TRL and Loughborough University. The first trials will take place in Greenwich and at the Olympic Park in Stratford.

O2 has already provided the spectrum to the Millbrook Proving Ground vehicle testing facility in Bedford, which is currently host to a 5G testbed. Here O2 also provides the connectivity for trials involving connected and autonomous vehicles, while it has also been involved in smart ambulance tests.

“We know that by powering the transport sector we can make a real difference to consumers by reducing traffic congestion, making journeys safer and faster,” added Brendan O’Reilly, O2 CTO.

“We’re excited to be working with the teams at the Smart Mobility Living Lab, who are driving forward our understanding how this next generation technology will fundamentally change the fabric of the cities in which we live and work as well as creating entirely new ways to travel.”

Infographic: Hopes and Fears Around Self-Driving Cars

Attitudes vary on autonomous vehicles depending on gender and age.

Some people are scared when they are passengers in a regular car. The idea of being a passenger to a computer might therefore require even more courage – or time.

In a recent survey, road users identified breakdowns, hardware and software malfunctions and hacking as three major threats to self driving cars. While the older generations saw breakdowns as the biggest risks, younger people seemed to be more preoccupied with malfunctions.

Many people admit that they would feel unsafe as pedestrians when autonomous cars become common on the roads. For example, two- thirds of men believe that autonomous cars will be a threat to road safety, while women are equally split on this question.

In general, as of today, more than half of the population believes driverless cars are unsafe.

Autonomy is described in levels and while Autonomy Level 1 cars are now perceived as safe by half of the respondents, an overwhelming 85% would not want to be a passenger in a fully autonomous car. Possibly the only thing that is needed is enough time to introduce innovations in a non-disruptive way and with plenty of time to test each element of automation systems.

The graphic below shares some more details and statistics on consumers’ attitudes towards self-driving cars:

Original articles: https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/unmanned/unmanned-ground/infographic-hopes-and-fears-around-self-driving-cars/

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/o2-revenues-rise-ahead-of-5g-driverless-car-trials

Image: Oponeo.co.uk

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