Driverless cars are to be tested this year in a number of UK locations including the London Borough of Greenwich. Three separate trials will take place: one in Greenwich, one in Bristol and one split between Coventry and Milton Keynes. The trials will last from 18 to 36 months and will test different aspects of self-driving technology. All will take place away from public roads, though each is aimed at making automated vehicles on Britain’s roads a reality.
The trials will use semi-autonomous cars that can drive themselves for periods of the time with a human driver behind the wheel, as well as lightweight self-driving pods designed for low-speed shuttle services. The three projects will be linked by an external monitor who will coordinate all the data.
The Greenwich trials – named the Gateway project – will involve self-driving shuttles being tested on closed roads and in simulation facilities. The project is led by the TRL with contributions from the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London and the University of Greenwich along with General Motors, the AA and RAC.
This will put the UK at the forefront of automated vehicle technology.