The British government is pioneering the transportation of the future, as driverless technology is being taken more seriously. The government is offering up to £10 million for the development of a British city or town as a test area for this new and exciting field.
Milton Keynes had announced plans last month to have 20 driverless pods operating on lanes separated from pedestrians between the rail station and the city centre by the year 2015. These pods would have a top speed of 12mph. The city also plans to expand further to 100 pods by 2017.
Plans for self-drive cars were announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s National Infrastructure Plan. The UK is paralleling France with their proposal for a 10-year plan to implement driverless cars. Whilst in the US, California, Nevada and Florida have already passed legislation to allow driverless cars.
Car manufacturer, Nissan announced earlier this year that it would have driverless cars in the hands of people by 2020. Audi, BMW, Tesla, Volvo and a queue of other car manufacturers have announced plans to build driverless vehicles as well.
Much of the hype surrounding driverless transport is centering on Google’s plans in the market as their self-drive car recently completed 500,000 miles (804,000km) of road testing. “I call it mobility on demand. You pop out your mobile phone, say where you want to go and how many people and in a short amount of time a vehicle rolls up…People will be like the millionaires of old where you just had a driver that did everything. These cars will worry about recharging, parking and refuelling. They will drive down a road without you paying much attention to it,” said Brad Templeton, software engineer and adviser to Google on its self-drive car project.
Google has given a itself a three year deadline of 2017 as the date its cars will hit the roads. Ever one to be outdone, Elon Musk, head of electric car company Tesla Motors, has said he will have similar vehicles ready a year earlier in 2016. Well folks, we only have a couple of years to wait now don’t we?
[Image via techjailbreak]