London

Driverless cars: London wants Google vehicle trials

Prototype model of Google's driverless car Image copyright PA
Image caption Google says the autonomous cars have an interior "designed for riding not for driving"

Transport bosses in London want Google to try out its driverless cars in the capital.

Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring said discussions were at an early stage but "we would be keen for trials to happen".

The battery-operated vehicles use a system of lasers, radar and cameras to detect objects around them in order to complete journeys.

Google is understood to be focused on testing only in the US at present.

The project, which began in 2009, has seen the vehicles clock up more than 1.4 million miles at test tracks in California and Texas.

At a future of transport event Ms Dedring said that while she was "personally a bit sceptical about the technology", driverless cars could makes roads safer and reduce transport costs.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The government has announced £20m would be invested in UK driverless car technology

This week Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the government would invest £20m in driverless car projects in the UK, saying the technology would "profoundly change the way we travel within years".

Trials of the cars have not gone without problems with developers still trying to improve how the vehicles interact with other road users.

A report published by the California Department of Motor Vehicles detailed a collision with another car which left a Google test driver in hospital.

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