Four UK cities have been chosen to begin testing driverless cars starting in January 2015 thanks to a £10 million funding donation from Innovate UK. These trials will begin in just a few weeks time, taking place in Milton Keynes, Bristol, Coventry and Greenwich.
These trials will last 18 to 36 months and will help people come to terms with and understand the role that driverless cars can play in the real world. Milton Keynes and Coventry will be working together on a single project while Bristol and Greenwich will be conducting their own separate trials.
UK business secretary, Vince Cable, said that “the UK is a world-leader in the development of driverless technology, and today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to city streets from 1 January. This not only puts us at the forefront of this transformational technology but it also opens up new opportunities for our economy and society”.
In Milton Keynes and Coventry the Transport Systems Catapult Center will be testing driverless cars on the roads in order to create new legal and insurance protocols, which are necessary to make driverless vehicles viable. In Bristol the Venturer Consortium will be taking a look at the legal and insurance side of things while also gauging public reaction.
Greenwich will be going ahead with its proposed GATEway project, which will focus on safety precautions and integrating these auto vehicles in to a busy transport system. These trials will help get the public used to the idea of seeing driverless cars on the roads and will hopefully ease people in to the new technology.
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KitGuru Says: It looks like the UK is getting serious about driverless cars and getting the technology in to use on the roads. If the trials go well, I imagine a few more cities will be drafted in for testing. What do you guys think of this? Are you comfortable with the idea of having driverless cars on the road?