Today, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced £1.5m would be allocated to the first driverless cars project to be tested in a UK city centre.
The pilot project is part of the LUTZ (low carbon urban transport zone) project which is a research collaboration between Arup, Transport Systems Catapult, Cambridge University and the Automotive Council. The LUTZ project is being developed to explore the potential for intelligent mobility concepts within the urban environment.
The collaborators are working with Milton Keynes Council to set up a trial project using driverless pods within the city centre.
The pods, shown here on video, will be able to carry two people and will be run on designated pathways in Milton Keynes city centre.
It is planned that in 2015, an initial batch of 20 pods will be driver-operated and will run on lanes separated from pedestrians. By mid 2017, it is planned that 100 pods that are fully autonomous will be running on pathways alongside people and will use sensors to avoid obstacles.