Driverless car UK test bases named

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 03 Desember 2014 | 23.58

3 December 2014 Last updated at 15:52

The four English locations picked to test driverless cars have been named.

Greenwich, in south-east London, and Bristol will each host a project of their own, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will share a third.

The decision was announced by the quango Innovate UK, after George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

The chancellor also announced an additional £9m in funding for the work, adding to the £10m that had been announced in July.

The businesses involved will add further funds.

Bristol will host the Venturer consortium, which aims to investigate whether driverless cars can reduce congestion and make roads safer.

Its members include the insurance group Axa, and much of its focus will be on the public's reaction to the tech as well as the legal and insurance implications of its introduction.

Greenwich is set to run the Gateway scheme. This will be led by the Transport Research Laboratory consultancy and involve tests of automated shuttle vehicles, remote-controlled driving and the creation of a simulated 3D model of the area.

Milton Keynes and Coventry will host the UK Autodrive programme.

This involves Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and the engineering consultancy Arup among others, and will test both self-drive cars on the road as well as self-driving pods designed for pedestrianised areas.

Part of this group's work will be to develop the technologies that will need to be built into roads and the surrounding infrastructure to aid vehicle navigation.

"Our plan with the practical demonstration phases is to start testing with single vehicles on closed roads, and to build up to a point where all road users, as well as legislators, the police and insurance companies, are confident about how driverless pods and fully and partially autonomous cars can operate safely on UK roads," said Tim Armitage from Arup.

The tests will last from between 18 to 36 months and begin on 1 January.

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