Milton Keynes at the centre of UK robotics revolution

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The UK robotics revolution has come to Milton Keynes after being hailed as a hub for the development of driverless cars on British roads at the launch of the UK’s first ever robotics strategy.

At the unveiling in London of RAS 20202 Robotics and Autonomous Systems strategy today, technology experts set out the plan which aims to increase the country’s income from robotics and autonomous systems (RAS).

Technology experts outlined in the strategy how areas selected for tests will host a series of robotic challenges and in Milton Keynes this could involve the testing of everything from smart route-finding to object avoidance to automated parking.

The work in Milton Keynes is particularly important because the primary road network in the UK is already working close to its limits of capacity and new technologies could help ease that problem.

Milton Keynes is the chosen location for the Transport Systems Catapult’s new ‘Imovation Centre’ which is leading national programmes to help revolutionise how we travel, moving people and goods in a smarter, cheaper and cleaner way.

It is working with Milton Keynes Council on world leading transport projects including the autonomous pod vehicles, which will arrive in the city for trials by March 2015 and is highlighted in the strategy.

Cllr Rob Middleton, cabinet member responsible for Resources, Efficiency and Growth, said: “These are exciting times for Milton Keynes that is being recognised, not only nationally but internationally, as a smart city at the cutting edge of new technology.

“By being one of the first to take on the challenge next year it means Milton Keynes residents can be among the first to benefit from technologies that will improve the lives of all our residents in the city now and for future generations.”

The strategy also envisions about a dozen new technology proving grounds set up where companies and researchers can test their robots in real-world situations to make sure they work properly and are safe for humans to be around.