The driverless car, which will be tested on the streets of Bristol, has been unveiled.
The Venturer consortium is one of three projects in the country which will look into how driverless vehicles could fit in with everyday life.
Introducing the project Transport Minister Claire Perry said: “Driverless cars are the future. I want the UK to be open-minded and embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.
“I want the public to be comfortable that proper safeguards are in place and the Bristol trials will go a long way in helping us better understand the full implications of this exciting development.”
The launch of the car marks the beginning of a three year scheme in Bristol which will investigate the future possibilities of driverless car technologies.
Specifically the Bristol project will look at the insurance and legal aspects of the new technology and explore how people will react to the cars.
The first part of the project will involve using a simulator to test an driverless vehicle in a virtual environment. This simulator can simulate weather conditions and traffic scenarios.
Testing on private and public roads in Bristol and South Gloucestershire is expected to begin early next year.
The consortium is made up of a wide range of organisations from across the region including UWE, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils, First Group, University of Bristol and Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
(Video: This first glimpse of the vehicle shows the car fitted with the sensor technology – it is not currently ready to be ‘driverless’)