UK Autodrive scheme to be tested on public roads this year

Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and Tata Motors are collaborating in the U.K. on a scheme called Autodrive, which is working on communication systems for self-driving cars.

The most recent test, held in Nuneaton, a town in Warwickshire, England, looked into several safety systems aimed at reducing accidents. These included emergency warning technology and collision warnings, displayed through sound or visual alerts to the driver. The cars also transmit warnings to other self-driving cars nearby.

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Other tests focused on communicating traffic light changes, showing free parking spaces in the nearby area, and telling cars behind that the car in front is breaking with force. Autodrive expects the introduction of these technologies, if adopted widely, to significantly reduce the amount of accidents on the road.

The next stop for Autodrive is Milton Keynes and Coventry, where it will continue to test the safety technologies on segregated sections of roads, according to Wired. The cars will move to public roads before the end of 2018, when the project is set to finish.

The U.K. has made several legislative changes to make the country more appealing to automakers that want to test self-driving technology. It legalized the testing of self-driving cars and, through the government’s innovation agency Innovate UK, has invested millions into startups and consortiums pursuing safer and cleaner transport solutions.

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