KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15: London might become the first city in the world to have driverless cars on its roads – thanks to the latest unveiling by Transport Systems Catapult.
From science fiction to reality folks, they are almost here. This isn’t just a Google mapping car, its a commercial vehicle that could be in ‘mass’ production and available to private buyers within the next 2 years.
I note they are focusing on a small geography and with a battery range of 20km it would appear that the first units may be designed to operate on a well known mapped road centreline.
Nevertheless this is obviously a commercial operation and I would expect them to sell to a local council or other client looking to demonstrate their commitment to the safe green driving.
They look pretty robust and I’m sure if successful they will sell as quickly as they can make them. I can see them being popular on large campuses, airports, and there will be no shortage of rich and famous just wanting to be amongst the first in the world to acquire a driverless car.I know a couple of those.
I wonder if the current range restriction is because of a mass of battery hungry technology or for safety reasons. There are plenty of battery only powered cars with a driving range of closer to 200km.
This will be a good start to learn how to control these vehicles safely in an environment that is ever changing and was not designed for vehicle autonomy. Watch this space. Will it follow the Gartner Hype Cycle?