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Monday, 09 June 2014 09:35

UK will make it easier for driverless cars

Written by Nick Farrell

Road-rules to be changed

The UK government is so enthusiastic to get driverless cars onto the road it appears to want to chuck out the rulebook.

Google's new generation of driverless car, which has no conventional steering wheel, brakes or accelerator, is expected to become legal on California roads as early as September and science minister David Willetts is keen to encourage British designers to develop their own technology. That will involve changes to the road rules.

In order to make it easier for designers to test vehicles ministers want to change the Highway Code. A new infrastructure plan will also "ensure there is a clear and appropriate regime for the testing of driverless cars that supports the world's car companies to come and test them here."

Willetts said that the UK technology for driverless cars was being developed at Oxford and in In October 2013 it was announced that Milton Keynes would get the UK's first driverless car network, partly because of its wider pavements.

From 2015 so-called pods will transport people between the railway station and shopping centre at a stately speed of up to 12mph. Each pod is fitted with sensors to avoid collisions and other pods and can be hailed by using a smartphone app.

Nick Farrell

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