Milton Keynes Is About to Get Weirder for Drivers

Have you ever driven in Milton Keynes? If so, I bet it was a weird experience. I wrote quite a while back about how my worst ever driving experience was in good old MK.

I was sent down there on a business trip and all I had to do was find a blooming big bank building. I drove slowly round what I assumed was the central area long enough to get dizzy from all the roundabouts. I didn’t see a soul anywhere to ask them for directions. It was like some of post-apocalyptic world minus the zombies.

I haven’t been back there since then but it looks like 2017 could be the year I finally head back down to Milton Keynes for an even weirder trip. You see, the town is going to get given a fleet of driverless vehicles. In fact, they are going to go by the rather exciting name of autonomous pods.

From the Train Station to the City Centre

Photo credit: Jim

The scheme is going to start in 2015, but at this point the pods won’t be autonomous. Passengers will be able to drive the vehicles at first, as a fleet of 20 or so are rolled out to get people used to them. These first vehicles will cover the route from the train station to the town centre, which I think is a route I too covered about 20 times that horrible day a few years ago.

They will move along a special pathway near where pedestrians walk and it sounds like it could give a real sci-fi movie feel to Milton Keynes.

Once this is done, the total of 100 or so autonomous pods will be on the road in 2017. The top speed of these little blighters is a humble 12 mph and they use sensors to make sure that they don’t crash into each other or other things.

Do you like the idea of driverless vehicles in MK?


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About Robert Bell

Robert Bell is a regular contributor to the First Vehicle Leasing Blog. He moved from the UK to South America in order to save the rainforest and ended up staying there. He drives a very old Toyota Hi-Lux which he just can't bear to change.

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