19 May 2016


In the UK, you can register with the Gateway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) project and take a ride around London's Greenwich area in a totally automated self-driving electric shuttle. You'll then be invited to share your thoughts on the experience. You can also take part in workshops to discuss the future of automated transport.

"The move to automated vehicles is probably the most significant change in transport since the transition from horse-drawn carriages to motorised vehicles," said professor Nick Reed, director at the UK's Transport Research Laboratory and technical lead of the Gateway project. "Testing these vehicles in a living environment, like the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab, takes the concept from fiction to reality."

The Gateway trial is part of an £8 million project to research driverless cars, and is one of three tests taking place in the Greenwich area. It hasn't yet been confirmed whether the autonomous electric shuttles will venture onto public roads, but the experiment will see them mix with pedestrians and cyclists.

Each vehicle will first be driven around the area by a human to map the route in 3D. The pod will then be able to find its way round using built-in lasers, sensors and cameras that check where the car is against the 3D map, while detecting obstacles, hazards and pedestrians.

This is just one of the driverless trials taking place around the UK after the government pledged to allow driverless vehicles on British motorways by 2020. Early next year, a trial of semi-autonomous Volvo XC90s will hit London's streets.

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