NDRED driverless cars will join pedestrians on the pavements of Milton Keynes in 2015 as part of a trial by a joint industry and government panel exploring the future of UK transport.
The self-driving pods will operate on a separate lane on pavements at speeds of up to 12mph as part of the Automotive Council UK’s five-year project, which will cost £65m.
By 2017 when the trial is complete, Milton Keynes residents will be charged about £2 a trip for the pods to ferry them between the town’s railway station, shopping centre and offices, raising an expected £1m a year.
If successful the project aims to roll the pods out to towns and cities across Britain, and vehicles are expected to advance to the point where they will avoid obstacles, including pedestrians, with their built in sensors so that pavement division can be removed.
The Automotive Council has been working on the project with Cambridge University and engineering firm Arup.
Google has been pioneering the development of driverless cars in the US with the vehicles having driven 400,000 miles without accident.