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Four UK cities get go-ahead for driverless cars

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Driverless cars will be coming to four cities across Blighty as part of early tests for autonomous tech.

Today’s Autumn Statement revealed that Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol, and London’s Greenwich would all be part of the trials.

It’s part of an initiative by Innovate UK to test how well driverless cars can be integrated into everyday motoring life.

Cities across the country applied to be part of the scheme, but just four have been chosen to take part.

Innovate UK is the nation’s technology strategy board and pledged £10m earlier this year, with a further £9m now lumped on courtesy of the government.

The trials will kick off on January 1 next year, and look set to last anywhere between 18 and 36 months.

Nick Jones, Innovate UK’s lead technologist, said: “Cars that drive themselves would represent the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine and at Innovate UK, we want to help the UK lead the world in making that happen.”

Jones added: “There are so many new and exciting technologies that can come together to make driverless cars a reality, but it’s vital that trials are carried out safely, that the public have confidence in that technology and we learn everything we can through the trials so that legal, regulation and protection issues don’t get in the way in the future.”

In Greenwich, the project will be led by the Transport Research Laboratory, and will focus on 10-passenger electric vehicles for autonomous public transport.

These trials will begin off-road initially, with a view to eventually hit the roads at an unspecified date.

In Coventry and Milton Keynes, driverless cars will actually be tested on the roads, with support from Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, and Oxford University.

Bristol is also getting on-road driverless car testing, although the focus behind this push is on legislation and insurance research.

Read More: Driverless cars: Everything you need to know

Via: Innovate UK

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