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UK government unleashes driverless cars on public roads | TechRadar

First tests of robocars on public roads will begin later this year

The UK government is set to announce plans to allow testing of driverless cars. The first robocars will be unleashed onto public roads later this year.

Researchers at Oxford University will work in conjunction with Japanese car maker Nissan on the project and the collaboration has already been testing a driverless Nissan Leaf on private roads.

The move is part of the Department of Transports new £28 billion road investment and strategy scheme,announced today.

Previously, autonomous cars have been prohibited from operating on public roads, but the new measures allow for testing on lightly used rural and suburban roads. However, a back-up human driver must be on board and behind the controls at all times.

Google’s at it, too
Overall, it looks like a similar scenario to that which has applied to testing of Google’s autonomous car in the US.

But the big difference between Google’s robocar and this UK-based initiative is cost. Google’s autonomous cars are thought to cost roughly £100,000, half of which goes on a high-end lalser range finder.



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