In what is exciting news for both the technology and automobile industry a driverless car was tested out on UK roads for the very first time. This is part of the process to get driverless cars out on the highways and byways of the UK by 2020 as the government look to invest in this new technology and serve it to a worldwide market.
The electric powered pod, about the size of a two seater car and similar to a compact Renault, was tested along a pedestrian area in Milton Keynes, going along at a nifty 8 miles per hour, turning corners and avoiding pedestrians when it needed to. The car has been created by Oxford University spin out Oxbotica, and they are hoping after testing, trialing and fine tuning it will be ready to go out on the roads on a more regular basis.
“The important thing is it’s the first time that we’ve put a self-driving vehicle in the UK in a public space,” Neil Fulton, a programme director at the government-sponsored Transport Systems Catapult which coordinated the project, told Reuters. “If people can see that these vehicles are capable of driving themselves they can gain trust in them,” The pod, fitted with software developed by the Oxford Robotics Institute, has a tablet computer on the dashboard which allows the car to switch to autonomous mode with a touch of the screen.
And Oxbotica Chief Executive Graeme Smith has longer-term plans. “Our ambition is more than just cars, more than just pods. It is really anything with wheels that can be automated,” Smith told Reuters. “We are certainly thinking about buses … and the off-road environment, not just pavements and roads.”
You can read more on this story by visiting the DNA website at the following link Driverless Car Out On UK Streets
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