Milton Keynes, UK is piloting AVs
Fifty years in the making, Milton Keynes is the last and most successful of Britain’s post-war new towns. But as this community grapples with the potential doubling of its population of 260,000 in the coming decades, it has turned to AVs to retrofit its modernist, car-centered transportation scheme, which leaves many residents isolated or stuck in traffic. To that end, two pilots were commissioned in autumn 2016 under the UK Autodrive project, an umbrella effort involving 16 government, private-sector, and academic organizations. The first is a futuristic scheme featuring 40 four-passenger pod vehicles running vehicle and fleet management software designed by a Coventry-based firm, RDM. Pods will operate on a network of pedestrian paths at “a brisk walking pace” in central Milton Keynes. The second program involves seven traditional passenger autos supplied by Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, and Tata, which will operate with Level 3 autonomy on city streets.