Members of the public are being invited to test a fleet of driverless pods as part of the final phase of the GATEway Project.
Launched in 2016, the GATEway Project is a research programme led by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and funded by government and industry.
Much of the early work focussed on exploring public perceptions and understanding of driverless delivery vehicles – including the first autonomous grocery delivery trial in June 2017.
However, the focus has now switched to public interaction with the technology, culminating in an open public trial of driverless pods – for which more than 5,000 people have registered to participate.
Taking place over the next four weeks, the trial will see four driverless pods navigate a 3.4km route around the Greenwich Peninsula, using advanced sensors and software to detect and avoid obstacles.
Members of the public who have not registered will still have an opportunity to take part during a series of drop in sessions.
TRL says GATEway has helped ‘advance the UK’s position in the autonomous vehicles revolution’.
Richard Cuerden, academy director at TRL, said: “As we explore the future of mobility solutions, it is essential that we consider the experience and benefits delivered to the consumer.
“This is why understanding and exploring the public perception of automated services has always been at the heart of the GATEway Project.
“This Project is enabling us to discover how potential users of automated vehicles respond to them, in a real-world environment, so that the anticipated benefits to mobility can be maximised.
“We see driverless vehicles as a practical solution to delivering safe, clean, accessible and affordable mobility and we are proud to be part of creating our future transport system.”