Driverless cars may soon be coming to a road near you

Robot electric car shows off ‘auto drive’

Robot electric car shows off ‘auto drive’

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

DESPITE its academic reputation, Oxford has a long history of car-making and next year this could be taken to a whole new level.

The city could become one of three places where driverless cars are tested on public roads.

Oxfordshire County Council is considering a bid for a new government scheme which will allow Oxford University to test the automatic car it is creating.

At the moment the university team, which is experimenting with an autonomous Nissan that uses small cameras and lasers to navigate, can only test it on private roads like Begbroke Science Park.

But yesterday the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced that up to three cities will be selected to host the trials from next year – and each project is expected to last between 18 and 36 months and start in January 2015.

Professor Ingmar Posner, co-leader of Oxford University’s mobile robotics group, said: “This is great news and will be really helpful as we look at how autonomous vehicles could help to ease traffic congestion and deliver a safer and more pleasant driving experience.

"It’s a real opportunity for UK cities to show how autonomous vehicles could be right at the heart of the urban transport systems of the future.”

Oxford University’s system costs around £5,000 and is controlled from an iPad on the dashboard which flashes up a prompt offering the driver the option of the car taking over on a familiar route.

Cities across the UK can now bid for a share of a £10 million competition to host a driverless cars trial.

County council leader Ian Hudspeth has said he has already had talks with the robotics team about putting in a bid.

He said: “We are considering it and we have got until October to express our interest. We have got this technology going on in Oxfordshire and we want to promote it and be there right at the forefront. It could also provide a different form of public transport.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Today’s announcement will see driverless cars take to our streets in less than six months, putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.”

Nissan carried out the first test of a driverless car on a public road in Japan in 2013.

APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE

  • The technology is built into the body of the car and linked to a computer in the boot. 
  • It works in areas where the technology has experience of the environment in which it is being used, as it stores previous journeys in memory. 
  • The system is controlled from an iPad on the dashboard which flashes up a prompt offering the driver the option of the car taking over on a familiar route. 
  • Touching the screen of the tablet then switches to auto drive, when the robotic system takes over. 
  • At any time a tap on the brake pedal will return control to the human driver. 

 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

UPDATED: Fifty homes affected as burst water main causes significant flooding in Normandy Crescent in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

7:37am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

A WATER main has burst in an Oxford street causing significant flooding this morning.

Man appears in court over rape in Headington and sexual assault in South Park

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

1:20pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014

A MAN has appeared in court charged with raping a woman in Headington over the weekend.

Police force will not lose 400 officers says chief constable despite police and crime commissioner claim

Oxford Mail: Sara Thornton

12:32pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014

THE Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police has said the force is not set to lost 400 officers despite claims made by Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld at the weekend.

UPDATE: Delays on rail services between Oxford and London after two killed by train in "suspicious incident"

Oxford Mail: British Transport police badge

9:55am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

There are delays on rail services to London after a two people were killed when they were hit by a train in Slough.

Man charged over rape at Headington flat and sexual assault in South Park

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:10am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

A MAN has been charged after a woman was raped in a flat in Headington on Saturday and another woman attacked in South Park on Sunday.

UPDATE: A34 reopens after car fire but congestion still severe

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Tuesday 23rd September 2014

A ROAD shut after a car was engulfed in flames has now fully reopened.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree