Self-driving cars to hit the streets of Greenwich by summer 2016

Look out! Autonomous cars about

Pod trains Heathrow

Pod trains Heathrow, on which the autonomous cars will be based

The 21st Century is going to be about getting used to handing over more sovereignty to machines. The smart-stuff revolution is bearing down on us like a techno hurricane.

One of the most obvious demonstrations of this is the introduction of automatic vehicles. They are on the way.

One of the first ports of call for the autonomous automobile insurgency is going to be Greenwich.

A consortium that has been operating some nifty track-based shuttles at Heathrow Airport is set to break free from the constraints of the track and hit the streets and pavements of south east London.

Westfield Sportscars, Heathrow Enterprises and Oxbotica have joined forces with the GATEway project in Greenwich to deliver the fully autonomous vehicles.

The cars are set to be introduced by summer 2016, and the technology will be based on that used in the Heathrow shuttles.

The Heathrow pods have already carried 1.5 million passengers and completed 3 million kilometres of fully automated operation.

According to the consortium, the project will be 100% British – developed using a British supply chain and British engineering capabilities. This, they claim, will put the UK “at the forefront of automated mobility”. Google who?

Steve Chambers, director of engineering and asset management at Heathrow said: “The GATEway project is a fantastic opportunity to build upon the Heathrow POD concept, our unique zero-emission transport system between Terminal 5 and business car park, which has already removed 70,000 bus journeys a year from Heathrow roads and the equivalent of 100 tonnes of CO2 a year.”

Julian Turner, CEO at Westfield Sportscars said: “We’re really pleased to be a part of the GATEway consortium and are looking forward to bringing our innovative, lightweight, technology to a well-known and tried and tested platform. As well as a 100% British supply chain, we can bring a number of benefits to the GATEway project, including knowledge of type approval processes and advanced pure electric race and road car technology that will not only ensure the shuttle trials are a success, but  help put Greenwich and the UK at the forefront of automated mobility”.

Now read

Social Bookmarks