Years ago it was the stuff of sci-fi films and there had been talk of ‘driver-less’ cars for years but we’re now closer than ever to these futuristic vehicles becoming an every day reality.
The week commencing 10th October saw a driver-less car tested for the first time in public. The two-seater vehicle travelled in a 0.6 mile loop around the pavements of Milton Keynes. The tests were conducted with a safety driver who would be able to take the car out of autonomous mode should it be required for safety reasons.
The team behind the ‘test’ have stated that they hope that there will be a fleet of 40 vehicles available to the public in 2017.
The software installed into the vehicle, which is how they are run, is called Selenium. The software was developed by Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute and installed by Oxford University’s spinout company Oxbotica. Selenium uses data from cameras LIDAR systems to navigate its way around.
The Government is very much behind the introduction of driverless vehicles and has even begun consultations with insurance companies to look at the rules and motoring regulations to allow the incorporation of driverless vehicles by 2020.
Although there is still a long way to go, the team hope to begin trials on motorways from next year.
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