Monday, 8 February 2016

Driverless Cars To Be Tested On UK Roads.

Driverless and connected cars will be tested on public roads in the UK as part of a new Government trial

Over 40 miles of UK public roads are to become a testing ground for autonomous and connected vehicles, as part of a new Government programme to promote the technology in the UK. The three-year trial, conducted by a consortium of car manufacturers like Jaguar land Rover and communications companies like Vodafone Group, comes as part of a £20million investment that is split between eight different projects centred on driverless vehicle technology.

The £5.6million project, dubbed UK-CITE (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment), will fit wireless sensors on stretches of motorways, A-roads, and urban streets around Coventry and Solihull. The sensors will communicate with up to 100 different autonomous and connected vehicles, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles. The aim is to understand how effective the technologies are in reducing congestion and improving road safety.

Projects also in the pipeline include a £2.2million fund for the development of driverless shuttles in city centres to help those disabled and visually impaired. The project follows in the footsteps of the driverless pod initiatives already seen in city centres like Milton Keynes.

The eight different projects – the other six centred on accelerating autonomous and connected vehicles from an infrastructure and business point of view – is the first wave of R&D projects funded by the £100million Intelligent Mobility Fund announced last year.

The intelligent mobility market, centred around autonomous and connected vehicles, is estimated to be worth up to £900billion per year globally by 2025.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Our cars of the future will be equipped with the technologies that will make getting from A to B safer, faster, and cleaner. They will alert drivers of accidents ahead and be able to receive information from their surroundings about hazards, increasing the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

“Britain is a world-leader in research and development in such innovative technologies which improve lives and create opportunity for all. That is why this government has protected the £6 billion science budget and is providing up to £20million for these projects.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is a landmark moment and will allow Britain to lead the way in the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.

”Would you feel comfortable driving next to an autonomous car? Tell us in the comments section below...



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