We all know we want one. A self driving car that would be legal on the roads. While we have all heard about Google and Apple’s endeavors in self driving cars, we have never expected one to debut in the streets so soon. This summer “Ultra Pods” will take to the roads of London as a new public transportation system. This system will not require any human intervention to work. It will be fully automated, and the cars will be able to transport people around the city in, quite possibly, the safest manner.
So, how was London able to make such a great leap in technology? Well, the answer is quite simple. London has been using these “Ultra Pods” in their airports for the last 5 years, and they have not had a single breakdown. Heathrow Enterprises, a software company, the car company Oxbotica, and Westfield Sportscars have worked in Unison to develop the EZ10. The EZ10, unlike its brother at the the airport, will be able to move along normal roads with other traffic. Their design and manufacture will be handled by the London-based Westfield Sportscars, who will also conduct testing prior to the launch of the project. Heathrow Enterprises will work together with Oxbotica on software, mapping, and the all-important perception/trajectory planning systems.
There will also be a cloud based system to call a taxi. Once you download the app, you just need to specify the location you are at, and the car will automatically drive to your location to pick you up. Then all you have to do is enjoy the ride! London expects these cars to be in service around the late summer of 2016, and there are a few private corporations that plan to buy versions of these cars, and put them on the roads in busy metropolitan areas in the US.