Green light for UK driverless car road trials


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PA

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Connected cars will alert the driver if an emergency vehicle is nearby

A demonstration of driverless cars in Nuneaton will be followed later this year by trials on public roads.

Autodrive – a collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors – showed off how autonomous cars can talk to each other.

It included warning drivers when an emergency vehicle was approaching and offering real-time traffic information.

The first set of public road trials are due to take place in Milton Keynes and Coventry by the end of the year.

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PA

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Cars that talk to each other are part of the driverless revolution but currently a human must still be at the wheel

A fleet of up to 40 self-driving pavement-based ‘pods’ will also be introduced in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes.

Another aspect of the demo showed how connected cars can detect the presence of other connected cars on the approach to a junction and warn drivers if there is a high probability of a collision.

“The successful completion of the proving ground trials marks a significant milestone for the project team, and we are now looking forward to demonstrating the benefits of these exciting new technologies in the real-world settings of Milton Keynes and Coventry,” said Tim Armitage, UK Autodrive project director.

“Once the technology becomes widely available, we anticipate huge potential benefits in terms of road safety, improved traffic flow and general access to transport, so we’re really excited about being able to demonstrate this on real roads.”

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LUTZ Pathfinder

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Driverless pods will be available in pedestrian areas of Milton Keynes

There are similar trials going on around the UK, including in Greenwich which is using similar pods to those planned for Milton Keynes.

A consortium of British companies known as Driven are planning to test driverless cars on motorways in 2019.

The UK government has paved the way for driverless cars, laying out a legislative framework in the Queen’s Speech which included plans to update car insurance so that driverless vehicles would be subject to the same rules as normal ones.

The technology that allows cars to become more autonomous has been increasing in recent years with all the main manufacturers now offering some element of driverless technology, including self-parking features and cruise control on motorways.

UK government research suggests that the market for automated vehicles in the UK will be worth £28bn by 2035.



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