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Driverless Cars

London's first driverless pods set for public testing this summer


By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

January 29, 2016 | 2 min read

The UK's first driverless cars will take to the sreet's of London this summer as part of the Gateway project

Gateway driverless cars


The pods will be an adapted version of the electric passenger shuttles that are currently in service at Heathrow Airport and will undergo initial testing around the O2 Arena at Greenwich in July.

Three British companies, Westfield Sportscars, Heathrow Enterprises and Oxbotica will develop seven of vehicles which will carry up to six passengers.

The £8m Gateway project has been funded by industry and government agency, Innovate UK, and will be led by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Other trials are expected to take place in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes however no dates have been announced.

Prof Nick Reed, technical director for the Gateway project, told the BBC that the “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 said the trials would generate a wealth of data which he said would “tell us whether people trust and accept these vehicles and how they would work as part of the urban landscape."

It remains unclear how this will affect Google’s desire to launch its driverless cars in the UK. The company is reported to have held numerous meetings with the Department for Transport (DfT) over the last two years to discuss its driverless cars.

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