Progress waits for no man.
On the World At One (Radio 4) today Sarah Montague interviewed Daniel Ruiz from Meridian about reports that we'll have self driving cars on the roads before the end of the year.
: Meridian "brings together government, academia, innovators and developers of intelligent mobility solutions in a collaborative partnership. It facilitates and supports the acceleration of the UK’s emerging connected and autonomous vehicle sector within the global transport ecosystem with resources to enable profitable growth."
Mr Ruiz was very careful of his wording as he's under no illusion that all that's wanted are soundbites and quotes, so he stepped around the explanations carefully, but he did explain the situation fairly well......
There was a bit of waffle earlier on, which I've not bothered with, but here's the relevant bits:
: When will I be able to buy a car that I don't actually need to ever turn the steering wheel ?
: OK, I'm going to be pedantic and I apologise but you may never buy one because the whole business model is changing. This is not just a errr "let's transplant one type of vehicle - personal vehicle - for another mode of personal transit"
We will be....... the most important thing we're working towards here is how can mobility be enhanced.
: So the suggestion is it might actually be like and Uber or something like that or an Addison Lee you mention ?
: It could be, or it could be a single person lease.
: OK, so can I reframe the question. When will I be able to get in to any car
- whoever owns it - that can drive on British roads ?
: According to Addison Lee and Oxbotica, by the end of this year you will be... there will be a number of vehicles driving around the Borough of Greenwich which will be self driving.
: Well that's still exciting, isn't it ?
: It's enormously exciting. The most exciting thing is that it does take us towards a much safer future and the UK is right at the vanguard of this movement because of the way we are working together on it.
It'll be interesting to see if the main player's (Addison Lee, Oxbotica, Meridian) vision comes true this year..... or next ?
The full interview - which only lasts four and a half minutes - can be found at the 40 minute mark here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002c2n
Oxbotica: " .........develops the software that makes vehicles autonomous"