The U.K. town of Milton Keynes is enlisting a fleet of 100 self-driving pods to run between the city’s central train station, shopping center, and office parks beginning in 2015. Those 100 pods will be a part of a £65 million infrastructure investment by Milton Keynes. The autonomous pods will carry two passengers, plus shopping bags, luggage, or a baby stroller £2 per trip, and will travel up to 12 mph in dedicated lanes inside the city and will be summoned through a smartphone app.
Image: Lee Durant/Ultra Global PRT
The pods — similar to those used at Heathrow airport since 2011 — will be fully electric, with motors mounted at each wheel and charging handled by an inductive system set up along the route, and like Google, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz’ autonomous vehicles, the pods will use a combination of GPS, sensors, and high-definition stereo cameras to navigate the city and avoid pedestrians, but according to the Daily Mail, the initial plan is to have specific lanes for the vehicles and a joystick to control the pod if something goes awry.