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Northamptonshire could be used as test site for driverless cars

Published: Friday 10th of January 2014 | Author: Andy | Category: Industry News

BMW has shown off self-driving cars that can "drift" around bends and slalom between cones.

The modified 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe are able to hurtle round a racetrack and control a power slide and burn tyres without any driver intervention.
Using 360-degree radar, ultrasonic sensors and cameras, the cars sense and adapt to their surroundings.

BMW demonstrated its latest autonomous driving technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

It is just one of several car manufacturers experimenting with the technology - Japan's Toyota has also been demonstrating its autonomous car at CES.

In this year’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said there would be a £10 million prize fund for the town or city chosen as the site to test driverless cars.

Members of Daventry District Council’s Strategy Group will meet next Thursday to decide whether to recommend promoting part of the district, including the town of Daventry and an adjacent rural area, as a potential test site.

The technology uses existing roads and additional infrastructure, such as overhead tracks or rails, is not required.

The authority recently hosted in international conference on advanced transport and it is hoped that Daventry district’s profile will be raised significantly from a successful bid and attract economic investment from suppliers and operators of automated vehicles.

Councillor Chris Over, the council’s economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder, said: “Our district has already established a reputation internationally for exploring innovative transport solutions. Our valuable knowledge and experience in this field places us in an ideal position to host a test site for driverless cars.

“Exploring the Chancellor’s proposals in this way confirms that we intend to keep Daventry and the wider district at the leading edge of applied high tech engineering and innovative transport solutions.

“Officers have outlined both the benefits and potential risks that hosting such a test site would bring to Daventry district and all of these aspects will be carefully considered by strategy group members at their meeting next week.”

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