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December 5, 2014

Gov’t invest £10m to bring driverless cars to UK roads

Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes selected by Innovate UK to trial driverless cars.

By CBR Staff Writer

Four UK cities including Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes have been selected by Innovate UK to trial driverless cars.

The formal trials are aimed at finding how driverless cars could be integrated into everyday life across the country, in order to better understand how driverless technology will interact with people.

The UK Government has already funded £10m for the driverless cars competition and has the announced an additional £9m to help the cities implement the initiative.

Bristol is planning to form a consortium, which is aimed at knowing how driverless cars can make roads safer and reduce congestion.

Greenwich is expected to run the Gateway scheme which will test automated passenger shuttle vehicles and autonomous valet parking for adapted cars.

Milton Keynes and Coventry will be working together on the UK Autodrive programme, which is aimed at developing technologies for integration into existing roads and the surrounding infrastructure to facilitate vehicle navigation.

The programme is also expected to help the public get accustomed to seeing such vehicles on the road.

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Innovate UK lead technologist Nick Jones said: "Cars that drive themselves would represent the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine and at Innovate UK; we want to help the UK to lead the world in making that happen."

"There are so many new and exciting technologies that can come together to make driverless cars a reality, but it’s vital that trials are carried out safely, that the public have confidence in that technology and we learn everything we can through the trials so that legal, regulation and protection issues don’t get in the way in the future."

The trials are expected to last between 18 and 36 months starting from 1st January 2015.

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