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The Government is offering the reward to a UK based town or city which will take on the role of being a testing ground for autonomous vehicles, as it is keen to make the UK a world leader in the ground-breaking technology.
In the chancellor’s latest National Infrastructure Plan unveiled last Wednesday, the government announced it would be launching a review to ensure that the correct legislation is in place to “demonstrate to the world’s car companies” that the UK is “the right place” to develop driverless cars.
The £10 million prize will fund a town or city to enable it to become a testing ground for the driverless vehicles with Oxford University Robotics Group currently the UK centre for the technology.
It has already been announced that by the year 2017, 100 driverless cars will exist on pathways in Milton Keynes and will run alongside pedestrians using sensors to avoid collisions.
Oxford University researchers already announced plans in July to test driverless cars with Nissan on UK roads with a one such car already being tested on a private road in a science park, but now the Department of Transport has granted permission for trials to begin on roads with other traffic.
So far, most of the driverless car testing has been carried out by Google with its self-driving car recently completing 500,000 miles of roads within California, Nevada and Florida, the three states which have passed legislation to allow driverless car testing to be carried out.
Nissan has also carried out its first public road test of a driverless car on a highway in Japan and Volvo has come forward to announce its plans to put 100 autonomous vehicles on public roads around Gothenburg by 2017.
The year 2017 is the date which Google has given for when its cars will finally hit the road, whilst at the same time Elon Musk, head of the electric car company Tesla Motors believes their vehicles will be ready by 2016.
At present, many of the normal cars which are coming onto the market possess some of the technology which is used in driverless cars such as self-parking capabilities and autonomous emergency braking which can slow or even stop a car if the driver fails to react to an impending collision.