Autonomous car

Future Transport: How is London responding to technological innovation

Date published: 
13 February 2018

For the Future Transport report, the Transport Committee has focused on technological change in three different, but closely related areas.

The committee sought to learn lessons about how effectively the Mayor and TfL monitor and plan for the emergence of new technology in the transport sector:

  • Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), also known as ‘driverless cars’. The introduction of CAVs to our roads is potentially the biggest change in the way we use cars, which remain the most prevalent transport method used by Londoners. 
  • App-based services. Londoners have been empowered by the spread of smartphone technology, with apps that have delivered information in new ways and enabled new types of transport service to be delivered on a large scale.
  • Drones. In this category we include airborne drones, which have been in use for various purposes for a number of years but are now increasingly being used for freight delivery; and droids (or ground-based drones), programmed to transport goods along pavements and other pedestrian spaces.

Key facts

  • Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) or driverless cars won't be on the road until the 2030s at least and could add to congestion
  • Dockless cycle schemes need to be able to operate across London to be effective
  • There is no control system in place for drones and droids
  • TfL is monitoring technological developments but this needs to be embedded across the whole organisation


  • Consider the potential development and impact of autonomous bus technology
  • Examine whether to introduce a London-wide licensing regime for dockless cycle hire
  • Develop the principles of a new regulatory regime for demand-responsive bus services
  • Ensure data produced by apps powered by underlying TfL data is shared with TfL
  • Consider an integrated control system for ground-based autonomous vehicles and airborne drones