Reinventing the wheel: Milton Keynes set to become global leader for smart mobility following Autumn Statement announcement

Driverless pods in Milton Keynes ENGPNL00320131114165506
Driverless pods in Milton Keynes ENGPNL00320131114165506

A £9million share of government funding will allow 40 driverless cars to be tested in Milton Keynes.

It was announced in yesterday’s Autumn Statement that forward-thinking group ‘UK Autodrive’, of which Milton Keynes Council is a key partner, won funding through the government’s ‘introducing driverless cars’ competition.

Councillor Peter Marland, leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “The awarding of these funds shows that Milton Keynes is one of the world leaders in transport innovation and research.

“The scheme has the potential to change the way transport works and bring real benefits to both the city and our citizens.

“Milton Keynes has established itself as a leading centre for low carbon and intelligent autonomous mobility and is the home of the Transport Systems Catapult and the LUTZ autonomous pods project.

“The council is delighted to be part of this high quality consortium that is leading the way for the UK and will also help develop new transport solutions for Milton Keynes.

“This funding is not to just trial a new and exciting technology; its aim is to roll out a completely working service across Milton Keynes in three years which will provide residents with a more convenient, cheaper and environmentally aware mode of public transport which residents can use to make bespoke journeys.”

The funding will contribute to a £20m project that involves Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and the engineering consultancy Arup to test both self-drive cars on the road as well as self-driving pods designed for pedestrianised areas.

The three-year project will deliver a fleet of around 40 self-driving pods units that will allow a real service model to be tested in Milton Keynes.

Its aim is to help establish the UK as a global hub for the development of autonomous vehicle technologies and to integrate driverless vehicles into existing urban environments.