Lid lifted on London's driverless cars

Lid lifted on London's driverless cars

London's first driverless cars have been revealed ahead of testing, which is due to begin later this year.

The pods are based on the electric passenger shuttles that are currently used to ferry people around Heathrow Airport.

But they will not need dedicated tracks like those at the west London site, instead using wheels.

The £8 million Greenwich trial - known as GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) - is one of four in the UK to test driverless technology and public reaction to it, with the others taking place in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes.

Seven of the pods will be tested on the pavements around the Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 arena is located, from July.

Routes are expected to include residential areas, the North Greenwich tube station and businesses around the O2.

Each pod can carry six passengers but a steward will need to be on board at all times to press the emergency button in the case of a problem.

Professor Nick Reed, technical director for the GATEway project, says the trial will reveal a wealth of data, such as whether people trust and accept the vehicles and how they would work as part of the urban landscape.

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