Driverless cars set to roll on UK roads

The UK Government has commenced a trial of self driving cars in Bristol and Greenwich and it will be tested on the public roads of Milton Keynes and Coventry.

The testing comes after a UK Government review, which allowed the automakers to test the vehicles on the public roads of UK without having to take additional permission.

It is an attempt by the UK government to take the lead in development of new technology which is expected to reduce accidents and improve the flow of traffic and driving experience.

The Government is likely to publish a Code of Practice in spring 2015 for auto manufacturers to follow for the trial of self driving cars in real life situations, but the vehicle makers will not need to get certificates or permits to run tests on the roads.

The UK government has committed £19m government funding for driverless cars trials and one of the projects for driverless cars is being developed in Greenwich which is coloration with Oxford University in partnership with Nissan.

Ministers including Vince Cable, Claire Perry and Milton Keynes are expected to be present for the first official trials of the fully autonomous Meridian shuttle in Greenwich.

BAE systems’ BAE wildcat vehicle is also expected to be tested in Bristol.

The UK Department for Transport previously conducted a review to determine the safest ways to trial automated vehicles, where drivers could also take control of the cars when necessary.

The 6 moth review was also aimed at providing a clear picture to potential investors of the technology and its legal status in the UK.

UK Transport Minister Claire Perry said: "The UK is at the cutting edge of automotive technology – from the all-electric cars built in Sunderland, to the formula 1 expertise in the Midlands.

"It’s important for jobs, growth and society that we keep at the forefront of innovation, that’s why I launched a competition to research and develop driverless cars.

"The projects we are now funding in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry will help to ensure we are world-leaders in this field and able to benefit from what is expected to be a £900 billion industry by 2025."

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