The Autodrive group, which consists of carmakers Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors and lots of smaller tech companies and insurers, has been given the go-ahead to test self-driving cars on public roads in the UK this year.
Autonomous hotspot Milton Keynes will house this trial, which is a separate venture to the driverless pod scheme that's also underway in the city. This one features proper cars, which communicate with each other to allow driverless convoys and also alert drivers -- or Vehicle Supervisors or whatever the person sitting behind the wheel will be called in the near future -- to the presence of nearby emergency vehicles.
Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors plan a closed-road demo of their tech this summer in their Nuneaton development base, before actual trials on proper roads full of angry idiots texting behind the wheel and still drunk from yesterday's alcoholic popsicles begin on the streets of Milton Keynes and Coventry.
UK Autodrive director Tim Armitage said: "Once the technology becomes widely available, we anticipate huge potential benefits in terms of road safety, improved traffic flow and general access to transport, so we're really excited about being able to demonstrate this on real roads." [BBC]
Update: Ford has asked us to clarify that they're not testing autonomous driving tech, but the company's connected-car technology instead.
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