Fully automated self-driving pods are to be trialled in Milton Keynes on pedestrianised streets for the first time at the end of this year.
The pods, designed by Oxford University’s mobile robotics group, were unveiled last week for residents to have a good look at before they’re fully tested. The LUTZ Pathfinders have a top speed of 15mph, and are able to map and learn the environment around them. After the trials in Milton Keynes, it’s hoped further trials will be completed in pedestrianised zones in other towns and cities throughout the UK.
The Pathfinders can seat two people, and have a steering wheel. Initially, they’ll be driven in manual mode while they learn their environment, and then will be swiched to autonomous mode, with operators on hand to override and take control if necessary. Despite the maximum speed of 15mph, this will depend on the environment around it, so in congestion, they’ll travel slower.
Milton Keynes and then Coventry will see 40 pods take to the streets for the trials.
You can watch the pods in action below;
What do you think of these automated vehicles – will you be trying one out? Let us know at @Liftshare or in the comments below!
Photo credit: YouTube
Author Lex Barber