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Driverless cars to cruise British streets from January

Date: 05/12/2014 12:15:50
Category: Car tracking
Author: Jack Stanton

The green light has been given for four English locations to host trials of driverless cars on public roads, kicking off in January 2015.

Bristol, Greenwich in south east London, Coventry and Milton Keynes will each host their own autonomous driving projects in a bid to increase the public's understanding of the vehicles and how they might become a part of everyday life.

Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover are involved in the projects in Milton Keynes and Coventry, dailymail.co.uk reports, while General Motors, the AA and RAC are working on the Gateway project in Greenwich. Experts in Bristol will be studying the insurance implications of driverless cars.

Self-drive passenger shuttle vehicles will be hitting the streets of Greenwich, along with a self-drive car simulator. Nine million pounds in funding was recently added to the scheme, boosting the £10 million that was announced in July, bbc.co.uk notes.

Tim Armitage, associate director of engineering firm Arup, said: "Our plan with the practical demonstration phases is to start testing with single vehicles on closed roads, and to build up to a point where all road users, as well as legislators, the police and insurance companies, are confident about how driverless pods and fully and partially autonomous cars can operate safely on UK roads."

Beginning on January 1, the tests will then run for 18 to 36 months.

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