Public trials of driverless cars will take place in London this summer.
The Gateway project, run by a consortium led by transport research firm TRL, said it was developing automated pods for testing on the capital’s streets.
The government last year announced that trials would take place in four cities under a £33M programme to develop the technology and gauge how it is received and used by the public.
Now technology firms Westfield Sportscars, Heathrow Enterprises and Oxbotica have joined the Greenwich-based Gateway scheme to develop vehicles currently used on tracks at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 into pods capable of using London streets.
Gateway project shuttles
Seven wheelchair compliant pods will be used in the trials, carrying up to six passengers each. The trials will last for up to six weeks.
Gateway technical director Nick Reed said: “The addition of three prominent and respected British organisations to the Gateway consortium further strengthens the UK’s position as a leader in autonomous technologies.
“Each company brings a great deal of experience to the project which will prove valuable in helping us to understand how the public and industry will adapt to the use of automated vehicles in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab test environment in Greenwich. If the trials prove successful, we expect these iconic vehicles to become a familiar sight in many cities around the world.”
A key technology figure last year predicted that the first generation of people who would never need to drive had already been born.