Driverless cars are to be tested on roads in Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Coventry, and Bristol from next month after the area’s bids to run the trials were approved in a competition.
£10m of funding from Innovate UK, the Technology Strategy Board sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, will allow the testing of driverless cars in a real-world environment in a bid to achieve “greater levels of understanding of these vehicles”. The trials, Innovate UK said, would also “allow the public to accept how the vehicles will fit into everyday life”.
The Government wants to establish the UK as the global hub for the research, development and integration of driverless vehicles. The DfT intervened to put in place a study of driver and other road user reactions to the driverless vehicles “to reassure the public”.
Nick Jones, lead technologist for the low carbon vehicle innovation platform at Innovate UK, said: “Cars that drive themselves would represent the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine. But it’s vital that trials are carried out safely, and… we learn everything we can through the trials so that legal, regulation and protection issues don’t get in the way.”
Source: Transport Xtra