menu

Self-Driving Cars to Hit UK Roads

technology

Google's most anticipated new creation will cross the pond in 2015

Janet Burns
  • 1 august 2014

Settling an age-old argument, driverless cars will be navigating British streets with the steering wheel on neither side come January. Vehicles such as Google’s revolutionary self-driving car, previously restricted to private British roads, have been approved for public road testing by UK lawmakers.

Business secretary Vince Cable has announced that, in addition to joining a number of US states in allowing them public road usage, ministers have ordered a review of UK road regulations to accommodate the vehicles prior to their 2015 arrival. He praised the decision and the opportunity it provides for Britons:

The excellence of our scientists and engineers has established the UK as pioneers in the development of driverless vehicles through pilot projects. 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.

car3.jpg

Cable also said a £10m fund will be made available for self-driving car research in the UK, funded jointly by the Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Transport. Cities are invited to compete to be one of three selected as sites for funded testing, which will include fully autonomous cars and ones containing a driver who could, if needed, take control at any time.

car4.jpg

Google demonstrated its prototype driverless car in late May, having built 100 of the models for testing. Bereft of steering wheels and pedals, the vehicles can currently hold two passengers each, contain a battery-powered motor and an emergency stop button, and have a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car project, explained alongside its debut his belief that the prototype is “an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people.”

car1.jpg

While Google experimented for years with transforming regular cars into self-driving ones, allowing humans to take over in case of emergency, project engineers finally decided to remove steering wheels and pedals entirely, and thus room for human error; as Urmson told the NY Times, “[w]e saw stuff that made us a little nervous.”

And road statistics, as well as this Dutch insurance add, may suggest that this was a good idea.

[h/t] The Drum

Images: Google, LA Times

technology
Trending

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Alexa von Tobel

Education, Investing, Customer Service

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.