Driverless cars

Self-driving delivery van ditches 'human controls'

Nuro van

The first self-driving vehicle designed without basic human controls such as steering wheels, pedals or side view mirrors has been granted permission to test on US roads.

Nuro, the company behind the design, makes autonomous delivery vans.

The vehicle is Nuro's second generation of its vehicles, which it is calling R2 and will be tested in Houston, Texas.

This is the first exemption to a rule requiring vehicles to have controls for human operators.

Most of the rules for testing vehicles require features that allow a driver to safely take control of them.

But in a statement, the US transport secretary Elaine Chao said given that the vehicle's top speed is capped at 25mph, these requirements "no longer make sense".

'Swarm' technology tested in driverless pods

The latest generation of driverless pods has been unveiled at the University of Warwick.

Coventry-based Aurrigo has worked with scientists from Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) to create "swarm" technology.

The development means the pods can be programmed to identify each other and return to home base - a move considered to be a significant step forward in driverless tech.

Autonomous vehicle
University of Warwick

The technology also enables the pods, working within a fleet, to automatically optimise their behaviour by distributing themselves within a city to areas where they will most likely be requested, says WMG.

Driverless pod
University of Warwick

Mast application for driverless car testing

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

The testing of driverless cars on roads in the West Midlands looks set to move a step closer after planning applications were submitted for infrastructure to support the technology.

Test mast plans
Transport for West Midlands

The region won a national competition to become the UK’s first test bed for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).

Planning applications for two masts in Birmingham have been put forward by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is responsible for running the project.

The devices would be located on land to the south west of the A38, Salford Circus, and on land immediately adjacent to Dartmouth Circus on the A38 Aston Expressway.