Four UK cities to host self-driving car studies in 2015

The Lutz pod, one of the cars set to be tested in Milton Keynes

Starting in January, four British cities will host projects aimed at testing the viability and potential of self-driving cars for the long term.

We love the idea of living in the future and despite not getting our jetpacks, having self-driving cars can easily make up for that. To test whether these new types of robotic cars are viable, safe and can operate well in a busy city, four locations in the UK have been selected as test sites.

In January Greenwich, Coventry, Bristol and Milton Keynes will start allowing self-driving cars on their streets for three testing projects. Bristol’s project, for example, is designed to test whether these types of cars can reduce traffic and improve road safety – a claim often associated with the new technology.

Meanwhile, Milton Keynes and Coventry are participating in the same project which aims to test how self-driving cars handle busy cities and pedestrianized roads. The overall goal of the project is to build a knowledgebase of car behavior and data that can be consulted by insurance agencies, regulators, police and obviously regular users.

Finally, Greenwich will be host to automated shuttles, parking and a self-driving car simulator. All of these projects are backed by multiple institutions including government consultancy agencies, car manufacturers and insurance companies, which points to strong interest in the field.

The tests will begin early next year as mentioned and are expected to roll on for approximately three years, after which definitive findings will be published. Here’s hoping everything goes well.

Source: Innovate UK | Image via Catapult

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