The driver-less cars are not far in the future, the testing has already started! New Delhi as well as other cities are going to try this new innovation. The first driver-less cars are to go on the streets of British metropolis. The new shuttles will be similar to the electric shuttles currently used at London’s airport, Heathrow.
(A shuttle at the Heathrow Airport)
There are still remaining features and characteristics of this new technology, for example exact design, which are still not known. The engineers currently attempt to adapt the driver-less cars for use on the streets. However, the group behind the project confirmed that the shuttles will not run on any tracks.
British companies are building perfection together
Great Britain will hold the trials of the new vehicles in Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. The project costed a heavy £8m and it was jointly funded by government agency Innovate UK and industry, as BBC informed.
The creation and testing of the cars is at the hands of a British Car-maker, Westfield Sports-cars. Heathrow Enterprise will lead designing of a software, while Oxbotica will be responsible for sensors and mapping of the area to provide maximum safety during a journey.
From July, the inhabitants of London will might take the Driver-less pods in the Greenwich Peninsula, exactly from the place where the O2 Arena is situated. Seven exemplars of the new technology constructed by the project “The Greenwich Automated Transport Environment project” – or “Gateway” – will present themselves in the streets of British capital. The routes are still uncertain, however, perhaps it will include residential areas, business areas and the North Greenwich, as BBC wrote.
Without any driver, but with a steward!
The pods will be testing for three months. The first passengers will be invited users, and after a certain time followed by public passengers. One vehicle can carry maximum seven people, included one steward. The “pod crew” will be always present in order to press an emergency button in case of any danger.
“It will tell us whether people trust and accept these vehicles and how they would work as part of the urban landscape,” said Prof Nick Reed, academy director at Transport Research Laboratory which is leading the project. “This vehicle has millions of miles under its belt and now we have to take it outside of the track and modify it for use on pavements,” he added.
The mentioned Heathrow Ultra Pods are currently shuttling passengers between the parking of the airport and Terminal 5. They started to work five years ago and till now they have driven about 1.5 million passenger and they have traveled about 3 million kilometers.
Sci-fi is becoming reality
It all sounds like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie, however it is true. There is just a few time to get to the age when we will call the flying taxi from our window going to our technologically developed jobs and schools. This is a huge step toward the efficient future, and it is not just for the innovative technology, it is also important to protect the natural environment that these shuttles provides.
But who will we complain about bad driving or unexpected traffic, when there will be no drivers?