12/4/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

U.K. Chooses Sites for Self-Driving Car Tests

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Semi-autonomous Range Rover The U.K. plans in January to begin testing autonomous vehicles in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes, the Financial Times reports.

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Semi-autonomous Range Rover

The U.K. plans in January to begin testing autonomous vehicles in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes, the Financial Times reports.

The four locations were selected in a competition announced by the British government in July. Winning bids will receive 9 million in government funding in addition to 10 million pledged earlier for the project.

Winning bids had to demonstrate their ability to test a roadworthy vehicle operating autonomously on public highways.

The Coventry and Milton Keynes sites are part of a joint bid by the two cities in partnership with the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, the Arup engineering consultancy, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. The partners will develop vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications using a semi-autonomous Range Rover test vehicle.

JLR says the aim of the Coventry-Milton Keynes project is to show the viability of self-driving capabilities rather than vehicles that can operate automatically under all conditions and situations.

The Greenwich tests will be led by Britain's Transport Research Laboratory. Its work will evaluate self-parking technology and automated electric shuttles on nonpublic roads.

Researchers in Bristol will evaluate the legal and liability issues related to driverless cars. It also will assess public attitudes about the technologies involved.