Google may think it’s pretty fancy with its 300,000+ hours of road test time for its driverless cars, but one town in Britain is about to put its money where its mouth is and implement the technology for public use by 2015. In a report first released by The Guardian, the town of Milton Keynes plans to have a fleet of 20 driverless cars by 2015 with an expansion plan moving to 100 cars by 2017. The project will cost a surprisingly cheap $2.7 million. Each car will come equipped with Internet access, music, and other undisclosed forms of entertainment. The average trip cost: about $3.20 per head.
The “pods” will reportedly mingle with walkways and feature special “get the heck out of the way” sensors to avoid any surefire collision lawsuits. An initial pathway has been scheduled for the vehicles to cover the area from the Milton Keynes railway to a shopping center just 20 minutes away (on foot), so don’t expect these driverless cars to travel the globe just yet. Also, don’t expect to break any speed records. While the pods will go faster than your average human being can walk, they’ll only travel at 12 miles per hour. Presuming the shopping center is just two to three miles away, that’ll still get pedestrians to the destination a lot faster than it would hoofing it, but the mode of travel isn’t taking us all sci-fi any time soon.
In related news reported by The Verge, Vince Cable announced a $120 million fund for the implementation of low-carbon engines, adding that “By 2050, very few — if any — new cars will be powered solely by the traditional internal combustion engines.”
Here’s a bit more on the impending awesomeness: