A driverless car has been tested in the UK

'LUTZ Pathfinder' hits 15mph as first UK autonomous public road tests gets underway

An autonomous electric car has been tested on UK ‘roads’ for the very first time. And by ‘roads’, we do of course, mean ‘pavement’. Yes folks, the UK has had its very first taste of full autonomy in a public space.

Said public space was, erm, Milton Keynes, where the ‘LUTZ Pathfinder’, Transport Control Systems’ new project, was unleashed inside pedestrianised areas. Though it had an actual human being behind the wheel (safety reasons, naturally), it was a full, autonomous test.

And it worked. The car travelled a 1km loop thanks to software developed by Oxford University’s Robotics Institute. The software - dubbed ‘Selenium’ - uses cameras and LIDAR systems and virtual mapping, that helped the little pod navigate around Milton Keynes, safely stopping for humans, navigating around corners and so forth.

The plan is to roll out 40 more of these autonomous pods for public consumption by next year.

Autonomous tech of course, is fast gaining momentum. Nissan plans to have a self-driving car on the road by the year 2020. Ford, the year after. Volkswagen not too long after that either. Merc, BMW, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover are also trialling their own autonomous tech, while Tesla continues to work on its Autopilot system.