In America a few driverless cars have been seen actually on the road but? here in the UK we have had to settle for testing and demonstration on private tracks but that is soon to change.?In a briefing document titled Action for Roads, the Department for Transport has said that they expect driverless car testing to take to the public roads by the end of this year.
The Department of Transport said –
Researchers at Oxford University are currently working with Nissan to… create semi-autonomous cars. These vehicles will have a driver present but are capable of driving fully independently, using knowledge of the environment in which they are driving. A groundbreaking trial of these vehicles on the road is expected to start later this year.
Fully autonomous cars remain a further step, and for the time being drivers will have the option (and responsibility) of taking control of the vehicle themselves. Vehicle manufacturers and their systems suppliers continue to explore the opportunities for full autonomy. Further progress will depend foremost on ensuring public safety and on updating the law to take account of the new technology.
The first testing runs will be on public roads with very little traffic and will be carried out using Oxford University’s “Robot Cars” based on the Nissan Leaf. Humans will be present in the vehicles to intervene should any of the robot cars decide to start trying to run down pedestrians.
Google ? is the leading developer of driverless cars and has pledged to have them on the road within the next five year.