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Autonomous cars on UK roads by end of year

A government policy paper was published this week, showing that Autonomous cars will be tested on UK roads before the end of the year.

The BBC say that trials will take place on less busy rural and suburban roads using the ‘semi autonomous mode’ which will allow a driver to take control over the car if necessary. A driver will ride along during all the tests, for safety reasons.
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Mobile Robotics Group at Oxford will be running the tests, using an adapted Nissan Leaf for the tests. The prototype car uses stereo cameras and laser scanners as sensors and is able to learn frequently driven routes.

Paul Watters of the UK’s AA automobile association spoke to the BBC “The notion of reading the newspapers and drinking a cup of coffee is a bit far-fetched. It’s early days and driverless cars won’t be mainstream for a long time. But we have a variety of in-car technologies already, including guided parking and adaptive cruise control, so fully driverless cars will be the culmination of a gradual evolution, not an overnight revolution.”

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