Vince Cable, the business secretary, announced that 20 of the vehicles will travel on special pathways separated from pedestrians around the Buckinghamshire town's shopping centre. By mid-2017 it is planned that 100 fully autonomous cars will be in operation, sharing pathways with pedestrians and equipped with sensors to avoid collisions
The cars can carry two people each, will be able to travel at a top speed 12mph and come with screen that allows passengers to check email and browse the internet while being ferried to their destination. They will not run on petrol.
It sounds like a great idea for getting around a big city. The only problem is that they would not work in Rome where a 12 mph pod would be a target or in Bulgaria where a pod will be reversed into by a black car driven by a mudra who thinks he is too important to do a three-point turn.
While the exact specification of the pods is yet to be finalised, a prototype image of the vehicle has three wheels and a see-through lid that flips up for passengers to step in or out. Each journey could cost £2, although that will be subject to a study next year.