Plans have been unveiled for an driverless car to attempt a complex, 200-mile journey across the UK without driver input.
The HumanDrive project will develop a prototype autonomous vehicle which can successfully deal with a variety of scenarios, including country roads, high speed roundabouts, A-roads, motorways in live traffic and different environmental conditions.
Crucially, the car will also emulate a ‘natural human’ driving style using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Before being introduced to UK roads, the system will be developed and subjected to robust testing using a range of facilities, including simulation, hardware in the loop, private test track and small sections of public roads.
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility.
“This revolution has the potential to be worth £52bn to our economy by 2035 and the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change is one we cannot afford to miss.”
The project is led by Nissan’s European Technical Centre and will draw upon the expertise of a number of organisations, including tech giant Hitachi and Transport Systems Catapult.
Other partners include Cranfield University, University of Leeds, HORIBA MIRA, Atkins, Aimsun Ltd, SBD Automotive and Highways England.
Mark Westwood, chief technology officer at Transport Systems Catapult, said: “This pioneering project will considerably enhance the experience of drivers who use future autonomous vehicles. We’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of the capability of machine learning and AI in driving.
“The HumanDrive project further reinforces the UK’s commitment to be at the forefront of future mobility, and as a world leader in R&D. We are delighted to be working with world-class partners on this project to ensure autonomous vehicle technology provides users with the utmost comfort and control possible.”
The UK wants to get driverlress cars on the road by 2021.