Self-Driving Pod Cars Are Coming to the U.K. in 2015
The U.K. town of Milton Keynes isn’t waiting for Google or General Motors to bring autonomous cars to the masses. Instead, it’s enlisting a fleet of 100 self-driving pods to run between the city’s central train station, shopping center, and office parks beginning in 2015.
The autonomous pods will carry two passengers, plus shopping bags, luggage, or a baby stroller, and will travel up to 12 mph in dedicated lanes inside the city.
The first 100 pods are set to take to the streets in 2015 as part of a £65 million infrastructure investment by Milton Keynes, with a full roll-out of the pods coming in 2017, when passengers will pay £2 per trip and summon their rides through a smartphone app.
The pods — similar to those used at Heathrow airport since 2011 — will be fully electric, with motors mounted at each wheel and charging handled by an inductive system set up along the route.