Public to help trial self-driving cars

Public to help trial self-driving cars

British motorists are set to be recruited to help trial self-driving cars on the streets of London, it has been announced.

Manufacturer Volvo wants to begin a small-scale trial in early 2017 before extending it the following year.

It plans to use specially adapted semi-autonomous versions of its XC90 sport utility car for the tests.

And it wants members of the public to be behind the wheel for the trials.

Up to 100 of the vehicles could be in use on the capital's roads by the time the trial has been extended in 2018, Volvo says.

Computer systems and a series of sensors and cameras will be fitted on the cars to enable them to steer, brake, accelerate and change lanes without having to be controlled by a driver.

The Swedish manufacturer says it will use data from the trials - which will be the first in the UK to involve members of the public - to help it develop fully autonomous cars.

Its president, Hakan Samuelsson, says he believes driverless technology will help make roads safer.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid says the type of trial being planned by Volvo are set to become "increasingly common".

The UK, he says, is "leading the way" when it comes to developing driverless cars. The technology, Mr Javid adds, will eventually help make motorists' journeys safer, cleaner and faster.

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