One of three projects to have emerged successfully from the UK government’s ‘Introducing Driverless Cars’ competition, UK Autodrive will trial a fleet of lightweight, self-driving ‘pods’ for use on pavements and other pedestrianised areas. The project will also carry out on-road trials in Milton Keynes and Coventry, using cars provided by project partners Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre.
The aim of the project is to establish the UK as a global hub for the development of autonomous vehicle technologies and to integrate self-driving vehicles in to existing urban environments. Drawing on ORI’s expertise in mobile autonomy we are providing UK Autodrive with advice, support and research for the development of autonomous control systems for multi-vehicle operation. We are also carrying out a study into the scalability of this technology.
The project will run for three years (until October 2018) with several major milestones along the way, including the start of the vehicle trials – currently scheduled for autumn 2016. In the last year of the programme, autonomous and connected pods and cars will become a regular sight in Milton Keynes and Coventry.