Birmingham to see self-driving car tests

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Published on 11 June 2021 by Mike Waters

A programme of road tests for self-driving cars is due to begin shortly in Birmingham. 

Dubbed ‘Project Endeavour’, four modified Ford Mondeos will be on the city’s roads between the city centre and Birmingham International Airport for “several weeks”All four will also have human drivers ready to take over in case of emergency. 

The trial is being conducted by Oxbotica, which is also involved in a similar project in London around self-driving taxis. Commenting, Oxbotica’s Director of Project Endeavour Dr Graeme Smith said: “Project Endeavour is a one-of-a-kind research project that is allowing us to learn about the challenges of deploying autonomous vehicles in multiple cities across the UK – a key part of being able to deploy services safely and at scale.” 

However, autonomous vehicle technology has yet to be demonstrated to have been perfected and - as the BMF has previously reported - a study by IAM RoadSmart earlier this year found widespread public concerns about self-driving vehicles, with 60% of motorists considering them to be “a serious threat to road safety”. 

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