Ford-Jaguar consortium to start testing driverless pods in UK

Article by Christian A., on June 22, 2015

In late 2017, autonomous cars will start operating in Milton Keynes, near London, as support to its public transport systems. Currently, testing is being conducted by Ford and Jaguar Land Rover as well as by the UK government for this project. In an interview, project head Tim Armitage said that 40 self-driving transport “pods” will be placed by the UK Autodrive Consortium on the roads of Milton Keynes, around 60 miles (100km) north of London, for six months starting in late 2017.

A Ford spokeswoman said that the company is offering a prototype car with vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability. The goal of the British government is to make sure that it gets a share of the expanding market for autonomous transport. The UK government is partially funding this project.

With a 5-year period, this project is expected to cost as much as 120 million pounds ($186 million). UK aims to be the leader in self-driving vehicles, ahead of the U.S. and Germany. The government hopes to encourage investment, lessen accidents, and improve the quality of its air.

Armitage said that they have made huge strides with autonomous vehicles but there has to be new technology. This trial (comprising an investment of three years) is being supported by government grant that amounts to 10 million pounds.

The private sector has also backed this effort with the same amount. This project is running together with two other UK programs in Bristol, England, and the London borough of Greenwich.

Armitage explained that foreign companies prefer the UK because its road laws in the UK are more agreeable to testing self-driving cars on public roads than most countries. Government-aided Transport Systems Catapult will develop the autonomous pods that will be seen in Milton Keynes.

Scanning for people and things will be accomplished with the use of cameras, lasers, and radar. So far, three vehicles have been built, with one presently undergoing testing in the town.

Steve Yianni, managing director of Transport Systems Catapult, said that there is a “global race” right now to develop this technology and be the first to offer it to the market.

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Nissan is commencing sales of the 2019 Nissan Altima on October 3, 2018 in the United States. As expected, the Japanese carmaker has already divulged the details and specs of...
by - November 26, 2018
Sports utility vehicles are still in heavy demand. Ford knows this very well as the American carmaker has seen sales of its SUVs surge dramatically by 28 percent in the...
by - November 26, 2018
BMW’s European customers who are looking forward to have a new range extender version of the 2019 BMW i3 (BMW i3 REx) will have to bear a bad news from...
by - November 26, 2018
Imagining the future of automotive luxury more than three decades from now seems to be a daunting task. It would be hard for a typical person imagine such future without...
by - November 21, 2018
Can a Dacia Duster be compared with a Ford Mustang? It would be difficult to do so as these vehicles compete in different categories and segments, have different price points...
by - November 20, 2018