Drivers and commuters in the UK have something to look forward to next year after Chancellor George Osborne said that the latest budget will include incentives and measures that will ensure the growth of car technology in the country. According to Osborne, this is one of the several steps they are taking to put Britain on top when it comes to infrastructure and technology. Just years ago, The Shard was opened to the public and now, Britons are soon to own driverless cars.
Meanwhile, the funding will be part of the £100 million investment money of the Intelligent Mobility Fund which aims to spend the budget on innovations in transportation.
As of today, £20 million has already been set aside to fund eight autonomous vehicle projects which include autonomous vehicle testing centres and driverless shuttles for persons with disabilities.
Several makes and models are already in the works. According to a report, the first driverless vehicles will be launched in London around July. There will be electric LUTZ Pathfinder pods to be tested in Milton-Keynes. This two-seater vehicle will have a maximum speed of 15mph which is a tad slow. These electric pods will be situated at Greenwich Peninsula and developed by the GATEway group. The system has already been running on tracks for the past five years.
After the piloted trials, there will be about 40 pods to be built in Coventry and Milton-Keyes. Also, the pods that will be servicing local residential areas and the O2 Arena are designed to carry six passengers each with one passenger on board serving as the steward for emergency alerts.
The first fully autonomous vehicles are due to come to London in July. The electric pods, developed by the GATEway group, will be located at Greenwich Peninsula, where they’ll service local residential areas and the O2 Arena. The system has been used at Heathrow Terminal 5 for the last five years, where they run on tracks.
Chancellor Osborne expressed that now is the time for Britain to make bold decisions at a time where global economy is not stable. Despite the uncertainty, Osborne is determined to drive the economy upwards.