IT SOUNDS like the kind of equipment that Q might present to James Bond.

But the new robotic technology created by scientists at Oxford University, allowing cars to ‘see’ the world around them and essentially drive themselves, could be the future for drivers.

Sensors including cameras, radars and lasers have been mounted on to a ‘Wildcat’ vehicle built by BAE systems, and aim to improve navigation, lower emissions, interpret local traffic conditions – and allow drivers to go hands-free.

Research leader Prof Paul Newman, from the university’s department of engineering science, said: “Our long-term aim is to enable a new generation of robotic vehicles that can make the roads safer, less congested, cleaner, and personal transport more accessible.

“We need cars that do the thinking and concentrating for you. If the going is slow, why can’t I watch the show I missed last night, Skype with the kids, read a book or send that last email and elect the car to handle the drudgery of the trip for me?”