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London’s first autonomous cars will be based on Heathrow Pods

Published 29 January 2016

The first autonomous cars to go into service in London will be based on the Heathrow pods, two-person vehicles that automatically drive along a track between Terminal Five and the business car park. They will be introduced in Greenwich.

Three UK companies are to work on the project. Westfield Sportscars is leading the prject, while Heathrow Enterprises is developing software and Oxbotica is working on mapping, localisation and perception to enable the pods to safely navigate Greenwich.The pods are being developed as part of an £8m project called GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment).

Steve Chambers, Director of Engineering and Asset Management at Heathrow said it is “a fantastic opportunity to seize on the potential of our leading-edge 'Ultra POD' technology, which has already removed 70,000 bus journeys a year from Heathrow roads and the equivalent of 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.”

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