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Driverless shuttle bus to be tested by public in London 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 2:57
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(Before It's News)

Track version of shuttle pod already in use at Heathrow airport.

No steering wheel or brake pedal, controlled by a computer, on a riverside path – do you feel lucky? Then step aboard…

Members of the British public are getting their first extended trial of a driverless shuttle bus, reports BBC News. Over the next three weeks, about 100 people will travel in a prototype shuttle on a route in Greenwich, London.

The vehicle, which travels at up to 10mph (16.1kmph), will be controlled by a computer. However, there will be a trained person on board who can stop the shuttle if required. Oxbotica, the firm that developed the shuttle, said 5,000 members of the public had applied to take part in the study.

“Very few people have experienced an autonomous vehicle, so this is about letting people see one in person,” chief executive Graeme Smith told the BBC. “We hope to gain acceptance from members of the public for vehicles sharing this kind of space with them. We are also looking at how people in the vehicle respond when being transported from A to B.”


The shuttle seats four people and has no steering wheel or brake pedal.

During the trial, five cameras and three lasers will help it navigate a two-mile riverside path near London’s O2 Arena, an area also used by pedestrians and cyclists.

It can see up to 100m (328ft) ahead and comes to a steady stop if it detects something in its path – although it can also do an emergency brake if required. “It’s been designed to be safe and fail-safe specifically in a pedestrianised environment,” Dr Smith said.

Officials behind the Gateway Project believe the shuttles could improve transport links in Greenwich. They say paying passengers could begin using the system by 2019 on a trial basis and that it could eventually be rolled out elsewhere.

Full report: Driverless shuttle bus to be tested by public in London – BBC News


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