Self-Driving Cars Coming to British Highways in 2019

The cars will inform each other of potential dangers they encounter out on the roads.

byAaron Brown|
Self-Driving Cars Coming to British Highways in 2019

A fleet of self-driving car test vehicles will be unleashed on British roadways in 2019, according to a press release from a U.K.-based artificial intelligence company. The autonomous vehicles will be packed with a human onboard—similar to the way that Uber and other companies test—but will work almost fully autonomously, the release said. 

The new test plans, announced Monday by autonomous car tech firm Oxbotica, will bring Level 4 self-driving vehicles to roads between Oxford and London, according to the release. 

Oxbotica is working with other companies to form what it's calling the DRIVEN consortium with the help of a $10.9 million grant (converted from £8.6m) from the British government. An insurance company is also being looped into the project, so it can monitor potential dangers with the self-driving cars.

"We’re moving from the singleton autonomous vehicle, to fleets of autonomous vehicles—and what’s interesting to us at the Oxford Robotics Institute is what data the vehicles share with one another, when, and why,” said Oxbotica co-founder Paul Newman, an Oxford University professor.

When put to work in two years' time, the cars will inform each other of any dangers encountered on the roadways.

According to the BBC, previous autonomous car tests in the U.K. only involved vehicles driving at low speeds and on private roads.