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London Introduces Its First Driverless Cars’ Design

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London Heathrow Airport UltraPODs Shuttle

London is introducing driverless cars that have a similar design to Heathrow Airport’s UltraPOD shuttles

It looks like London is jumping on the self-driving car bandwagon—and its driverless cars are going to have a familiar design. England’s capital recently announced that it will begin testing its first driverless cars on the streets of London. These new cars are going to resemble the electric passenger shuttles Heathrow Airport currently uses.

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Currently, the group behind the driverless car project is adapting the UltraPODs, as the Heathrow pods are called, for the testing. The exact design has yet to be confirmed, but the adapted vehicles won’t be running on dedicated tracks like the airport shuttle does. Instead, they will use a software designed by Heathrow Enterprise to be entirely self-driving.

The trials will take place in Greenwich, and are set to begin in July. The project—called Gateway—will test seven driverless pods on the pavements around the Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 Arena is located. Other trials will take place in Milton Keynes and Coventry (through UK Autodrive), and Bristol (through Venturer).

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The pods will be tested for three months, first with invited testers, and then with the general public. Each pod carries six passengers, but will need a supervisor to be present at all times to press the emergency button in case of a problem.

This is a giant step towards the future for London’s public transportation. Hopefully, the trials will go well and London will have a new, safe method of transportation.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Gateway project would take place in all four UK locations. The article has been updated with the correct information.

News Source: BBC