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London’s first driverless cars revealed

The pods are being adapted from the existing Ultra PODS currently in service at Heathrow Airport and will be adapted to navigate the streets of Greenwich without the need for dedicated tracks.

The pods are being developed by three British firms – Westfield Sportscars, Heathrow Enterprises and Oxbotica – and are jointly funded by Innovate UK and industry.

Westfield will design and test the vehicles and ensure that, where possible, they are manufactured in accordance with the current type approval requirements.

Heathrow Enterprises will be responsible for vehicle software engineering, while Oxbotica will be in charge of mapping, localisation, perception and trajectory planning to enable the safe operation of fully driverless shuttles in Greenwich. 

Professor Nick Reed, academy director at TRL and technical director for GATEway, commented: “The addition of three prominent and respected British organisations to the GATEway consortium further strengthens the UK’s position as a leader in autonomous technologies. Each company brings a great deal of experience to the project which will prove valuable in helping us to understand how the public and industry will adapt to the use of automated vehicles in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab test environment in Greenwich. If the trials prove successful, we expect these iconic vehicles to become a familiar sight in many cities around the world.”

Other trials set to take place in the GATEway project include autonomous valet parking and automated deliveries.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.