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Are Driverless-Cars Coming to London Soon?

The streets of London could soon be dotted with driverless cars as the motor industry put the city at the centre of a transport revolution yesterday.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin forecast that London would be home to thousands of driverless vehicles in the years to come as Volvo announced a major pilot scheme for the city.

This would see a handful of automous cars being introduced into the city’s road system next year – rising to about 100 in 2018 in a giant experiment to learn more about how consumers use this new technology.

Those taking part will be given a self-driving car for anything from several weeks to a year and they will be monitored to see how their driving behaviour changes as a result.

They will be allowed to take their hands off the steering wheel on a yet-to-be-determined collection of main roads such as motorways and A roads cleared by the government but the rest of the roads will remain hands-on because autonomous car operation is not currently allowed.

Reducing human error

Advocates of driverless cars point say they could significantly reduce accidents, 90 per cent of which are caused by errors, often because the human involved is tired or distracted.

“Autonomous driving (AD) represents  a leap forward in car safety. The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved,” said Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson.

But there is still much resistance among drivers to putting themselves in the hands of Artificial Intelligence.

However, the respondents did like the idea that driverless cars could be used to maintain a healthy distance between vehicles – with 90 per cent saying this appeared to be the best thing this new technology had going for it.



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Copyright 2015 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to and other relevant sources.

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