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London’s first driverless cars revealed… and they’ll be driving on the pavement

London's first driverless cars revealed… and they'll be driving on the pavement

GATEway project to run three month test to gauge public response Seven driverless cars are to be tested around the Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 Arena is based, from July. They will be tested on pavements with a steward present at all times in case of any problems.

In truth, it doesn’t seem entirely appropriate to call them cars and the vehicles are in fact more commonly referred to as ‘driverless pods’. They will be adapted versions of the Ultra PODs that are currently in service at Heathrow – electric four-wheelers which carry passengers between the car park and Terminal 5.

The trial is part of the £8m GATEway project which last year tested an entirely different driverless pod on a cycle path in the same area. This time around the test will last for three months. Trips will involve only invited users at first and subsequently the general public. Each pod has space for five passengers plus the steward who will be there to press the emergency button should the need arise.

Professor Nick Reed, technical director for the Gateway project, told the BBC (link is external) : "It will tell us whether people trust and accept these vehicles and […]

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