A flurry of publicity last week announced plans to test driverless cars in Greenwich this summer, but few details on how to be a tester?
The driverless cars are adapted from the existing driverless pods that currently ferry people between Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and the distant car parks, and anyone can take a trip in them.
The Heathrow pods however run on a dedicated track, whereas the Greenwich trials will see the pods driving along normal roads without any external guidance.
It seems though that each pod may carry a spare wheel, in the form of a safety person to stop the vehicle if they look like having an unfortunate interaction with a pedestrian, or other motorist.
Not a failing of the technology, as trials in the USA of more conventionally designed driverless cars found all the accidents involved human failure — the driverless car obeyed the traffic regulations, and that confused the humans in the other cars, who tend not to.
Traffic regulations not withstanding, if you want to be one of the testers of the driverless pods, simply send your details to [email protected] and they will be in touch closer to the date.
The adapted pods are also rather better looking than the “golf buggy” they had originally planned to use.
One is a sexy vision of the future, the other, frankly it’s grannies out shopping.
I know which I would want to arrive at my destination in.
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