Google’s Driverless Cars Could Be Coming To London

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Talks with government follow confirmed trials of driverless cars in Greenwich later this year

London could be set to welcome even more futuristic vehicles following reports that Google is interested in testing its driverless cars in the capital.

A report from the Press Association claims that representatives from the search giant have met with city officials as they look to thrash out a deal to begin testing the vehicles on the city’s streets.

Previously, Google has only tested its vehicles on streets near its California headquarters, but is now looking to expand this to include other locations.

Expansion

Google Car 2Deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring said that officials from the mayor’s office have spoken with Google “at least half a dozen times” over the past three years about bringing the scheme to London.

“It’s going to have to work in big cities so why don’t we start trialling it now?” she told attendees at an event in London over the weekend.

“Google have said they are focused on the States, but they’re starting to think about going elsewhere so we’re in active discussions. We met them a few weeks ago to see whether they would do trials here.”

“It is still very early days but we would be keen for trials to happen in London whenever Google are ready to move them into other countries.”

Increase

The news is the latest in a series of announcements regarding the implementation of driverless cars in the UK as public interest in the technology continues to rise.

Earlier this month, the government pledged a further £20 million towards the development of driverless car technology in the UK, which will fund eight new projects across the country.

Aimed at developing “enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems”, the funding will look to support projects such as streaming real-time traffic information directly to cars, allowing them to reroute and avoid traffic jams, or pooling details of road conditions to cut down on accidents in icy or wet weather.

If approved, Google’s cars will join those of the GATEway driverless car project, which confirmed earlier this month that they will soon begin testing in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The project will use adapted pods previously in use at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and will be able to carry up to six passengers.

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