Driverless cars have been successfully tested for the first time in public space in the southern British town of Milton Keynes. This claim was made by Oxbotica, the company behind the technology, on Tuesday.
The demonstration is the culmination of an 18-month development implemented by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC). It is aimed at promoting self-driving technologies.
TSC is one of ten technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the British government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Selenium, the software running the test vehicle, was developed at Oxford University. The software was integrated by Oxbotica, a company connected to the university. Selenium uses data from cameras and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) systems to navigate its way around the environment.
The vehicle demonstration was carried out on pavements around Milton Keynes train station and business district.
Oxbotica CEO Graeme Smith called the trial, “a landmark step to bringing self-driving vehicles to the streets of the UK and the world. Our unique Selenium software gives vehicles the next generation level of intelligence to safely operate in pedestrianized urban environments.”
The hope is that these vehicles could be used for local transportation in urban areas in the future.