Last December, the UK published details of an autonomous vehicle test as part of what is known as the “Vision 2040” strategy. As part of the roadmap, the department of transport is aiming to test a smart car that enables autonomous driving and has been given a £3 million ($3.8 million) budget for the trial. The trial will be based on the Ford Ka and is scheduled to run until March 2020.

“Smart cars can help transform the way our roads are used, and this £3 million trial will show how those working in industry, health and education can harness the power of driverless cars to improve efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility for people with disabilities,” said David Lawrence, director of the government’s Autonomous Vehicles Task Force, in a press release.

The trial will see that drivers are no longer required to physically control the car on the road and all sensors will be operated autonomously by the vehicle. Passengers who are not in control of the car will be screened through CCTV and asked to give their consent before taking control of the vehicle. The news follows an announcement that Amazon is teaming up with car makers and technology companies in Germany to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The UK plans to implement a “robotaxi” program in 2021.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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