(Reuters) - A self-driving car carrying passengers on public roads will hit the roads of Britain for the first time today, Tuesday, as part of tests aimed at paving the way for autonomous cars by the end of the decade.
The government encourages technology companies, automakers and start-ups to develop and test autonomous driving technologies in the UK with the aim of creating an industry capable of serving the world market that you expect to be worth about 900 billion pounds (1.100 billion dollars ) from 2025.
Earlier this year, the UK government began a consultation on changes to insurance rules and more generally on automotive regulations that would allow self-driving cars to be used by 2020 and said it would allow these vehicles to be tested on motorways from the following year.
So for a start, a small two-seat car built by Oxford University will be tested in the southern English town of Milton Keynes on Tuesday, with organizers hoping the trials will provide vital information on how the vehicle interacts with pedestrians and other drivers.
"Today's first public test of a driverless vehicle in our cities is a pioneering moment," said British Technology Minister Greg Clark.
"The global market for stand-alone vehicles presents tremendous opportunities for our automotive and technology business, research that supports technology and software that will require stand-alone vehicles," he said.
The self-driving car will be fully operational without human control, using camera and radar data to move into pedestrian areas.