Transport

Britain’s first driverless cars are rolling out in April

By Oliver Smith 2 February 2016
O2 Greenwich
Summary

Greenwich will be home to not one, but two new trials of self-driving vehicles this year.

In just two short months the first driverless cars will be hitting roads in Britain.

The London district of Greenwich will play host to two trials of self-driving cars, the first a £5.5m joint project from Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Direct Line and others.

MOVE_UK

The first project will involve cars with autonomous systems gathering data to better understand the impact of driverless vehicles in real-world driving.

Read more: If a self-driving car crashes, who shoulders the blame?

If this all sounds a bit like future-gazing, a Bosch spokesperson told The Memo that these self-driving cars will be hitting the streets sooner than you might think:

“April 2016 is when the cars should be on the roads in Greenwich starting to collect the data.”

The so-called MOVE_UK project is one of eight trials taking place in towns like Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes, partly funded with £20m from the Government’s Intelligent Mobility Fund.

GATEway

Meanwhile a second project, called GATEway, will also start testing driverless pods not on the roads, but on Greenwich pavements from July this year.

The GATEway pods will be based on those currently used at Heathrow Airport, which shuttle some 1.5m passengers a year between the business car park and Terminal 5.

And while MOVE_UK is focused on collecting data around the impact of self-driving vehicles on the roads, GATEway is exploring how the public will engage with autonomous modes of transport.

While their exact routes are yet to be confirmed, the pods will travel around Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 Arena is based, picking up and dropping off passengers.

So whether you’re taking a look around the Cutty Sark or spending a night at The O2, the next time you’re in Greenwich you might get a driverless journey home.