The first driverless cars that work on public footpaths were unveiled in Milton Keynes on Tuesday - and they will be tested in the city later this year.
Council leader Peter Marland checked out the new vehicles, which will be tested before a fleet of 40 pods comes into operation by the end of 2017.
The electric-powered vehicles can seat two people and are designed to work on pavements and pedestrianised areas.
They are being built by RDM Group, one of the UK’s fastest growing advanced engineering companies, and will be equipped with sensor and navigation technology provided by the University of Oxford’s Mobile Robotics Group.
Peter Marland said: “I am delighted to be representing Milton Keynes today; a city that is fast establishing itself as one of the global leaders in transport innovation and smart mobility.
“The world will be watching as we move to the forefront of technology, bringing great benefits to our residents who will be able to use this cheaper, convenient and more environmentally aware mode of transport to make bespoke journeys.
“The importance of this project cannot be understated as it is a game-changer in the world of transport solutions. The UK is at the forefront of this emerging new technology and poised to become the leading supplier of autonomous vehicles and systems around the world.”