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Self-driving cars to be developed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 November 2017

The driverless bus in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Picture: Harry Buckley

The driverless bus in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Picture: Harry Buckley

Harry Buckley

Driverless cars and buses are set to become a common sight in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Following the successful trial of a self-driving shuttle bus earlier this year, the park has been awarded government funding to further develop autonomous vehicles.

It is part of a consortium working to boost the self-driving sector and will provide a real world test environment for future experimental vehicles.

The park was awarded a share of the government’s £51 million connected and autonomous vehicle test bed funding to create a coordinated national network of testing infrastructure.

Working with experts from transport and technology, including from Loughborough University - which has a base in the park - and Transport for London, the ambitious project will see the creation of a lab within the park.

It will be designed to operate as an environment where innovators can come together to exchange ideas and develop technology solutions, as well as for demnstrating and evaluating the use, performance and benefits of the technology.

Jennifer Daothong, head of strategy and sustainability at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “Working in partnership with London’s clean-tech industry, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is rapidly becoming a world-leader at trialling new and innovative approaches to our future transport needs.

“We are delighted to be working with world-leading companies to provide the first of many opportunities for Londoners to experience this ground breaking technology for themselves.”

It will mean that more driverless vehicles, such as the shuttle bus that operated in September, will be tested in the park.

Driverless technology is not new to east London - the Docklands Light Railway network has been operating since the 1980s - while car manufacturers are experimenting with features such as autonomous emergency braking.

Other venues set to participate in the self-driving vehicle testing scheme include the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire and the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.

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