Google, Stanford University, and a few other institutions have been testing driverless cars on American roads for some time now. Soon, though, the autonomous vehicle will go across the pond for their first tests on the wrong side of public roads.

The BBC reports that the British government has approved testing of driverless cars, provided a real human being is riding along in the event that things go wonky. The okay came from the Department of Transport, which included the testing as part of a 28 billion pound ($42.5 billion at today's rates) investment to combat the notorious congestion on British roads.

The appeal of driverless cars is rather easy to see on the overused UK road network. As the DoT report states, driverless cars "maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front at a set speed and without deviating from their lane – all without the driver's input." That means a smoother flow of traffic and a lower chance of accidents.

The cars will be operated by the brains at Oxford University, which had previously tested an autonomous Nissan Leaf. It's unclear whether Oxford would continue to use the Leaf, or switch to the Toyota Prius favored by Google.

And before our British readers start worrying about driverless EVs hurtling down the M1, the testing will be done on lightly used roads, only.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whoa!! 28 BILLION!? Guess the exchange rate has changed quite a bit during the writing of this article
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        Daft way of presenting figures. A relatively tiny amount is going to driverless cars. Most of the £29 billion is for road building and maintenance. There are a few million for next generation infrastructure of fast electric chargers and hydrogen stations included also.
      Robert Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Wrong side of the road" silly phrase to use in an article, "Other side of the road" would have been a lot better. Wrong side of the road would be appropriate if you are driving like you do in the US on British Roads.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        You really do utter some of the most puerile tripe I've ever witnessed on these boards. And the standard is hardly stellar to begin with.
      ccweems
      • 1 Year Ago
      My bet: driverless cars will leave large gaps in front of them to which driven cars will fill them up. The driverless cars will either find a clever interpretation of Asimov's Rules and drive like a human or accept that driverless transportation will be slower in congested situations.
        Camaroman101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ccweems
        not until all or most cars are computer driven, would any congestion ease happen
      nassau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Put more cars on the road to ease congestion. Sounds like something the EPA would do. Idiotic.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think they should get them to work out west (USA) and in Canada first where there are miles of roads with little traffic. People would rent the cars and be able to sleep while it drives you from city to city.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      If I see a driverless car, I'm going to RAM it....... just to mess with statistics.
      NewTexian Brewery
      • 1 Year Ago
      Government: If you think our problems are bad, wait til you see our solutions to your prblems!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 1 Year Ago
      In case of a accident, who do I exchange insurance and license information with?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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