London transport bosses set to agree trials of driverless cars in London

A prototype of Google's self driving cars

Deputy mayor for transport, Isabel Dedring, said officials have met with Google “at least half a dozen times” over the past three years to encourage it to extend its pilot scheme to the capital.

It would be the first time Google’s autonomous cars have been tested extensively outside of the US.
It’s going to have to work in big cities so why don’t we start trialling it now?

Google have said they are focused on the States, but they’re starting to think about going elsewhere so we’re in active discussions.

We met them a few weeks ago to see whether they would do trials here.

It is still very early days but we would be keen for trials to happen in London whenever Google are ready to move them into other countries.

Google’s fleet of prototype driverless cars rely on sensors and software to complete journeys.

Their shape is more rounded than normal cars to allow the lasers, radars and cameras to detect objects in all directions. They are powered by electric batteries and have an interior that is “designed for riding, not for driving”.

The project has been ongoing since 2009 and more than 1.4 million miles of autonomous driving have been clocked up.

Trials have been limited to Mountain View, California – where Google is based – and Austin, Texas, but it was recently announced that testing will be carried out in Kirkland, Washington, to allow more examination of how the vehicles perform in wet weather.

One of the biggest challenges for developers is to improve how driverless cars interact with other road users.

Earlier this week the Government announced it will invest £20 million in eight driverless car projects in the UK

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the technology would “profoundly change the way we travel within years” by reducing accidents, helping traffic flow and making it easier to travel by car.