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Self-Driving Cars & The Internet Of Things

posted on Sep 03 2015 by Kiri Nowak

Self-Driving Cars & The Internet Of Things

Ever heard of ‘The Internet Of Things’? If you haven’t, you will soon. It’s basically where the internet is used to operate different devices and enable them to communicate with each other. Soon we will be able to control everything in our lives at the touch of a button. New smart cities will be created, in fact, Bristol will soon become one of the first smart cities. An innovative software network will connect everything in the city’s infrastructure. This will include traffic management; one of the aims of the scheme is to improve traffic flow and safety. Data analysis of traffic sensors and the use of wifi will hopefully reduce congestion on the city’s roads.

Conveniently, Bristol also won a driverless car trial competition by the government, which means they, the city won £5 million to test driverless cars in the city. This scheme will coincide perfectly with their ‘internet of things’ plans. The cars are expected to be similar to the ones used at heathrow airport to ferry passengers from one terminal to the other. The driverless car test scheme will be ‘investigating the legal and insurance aspects of driverless cars and exploring how the public react to such vehicles.’ (Bristol Post). Bristol will be used to gauge people’s feelings about driverless cars, but also show the public how they could enhance major cities.

Some people still feel that there isn’t a place for driverless cars, and would never give up the pleasure of driving their own car. Others see the benefits to autonomous cars and are happy to see where this technology might take us. Having ‘smart’ cities, each filled with their own fleet of driverless cars is a bit of a daunting prospect.

You can now watch videos of some of the driverless car tests being carried out in Bristol to get an idea of what they are like. The study of the driverless cars in Bristol will be carried out over a three year period, which should be long enough to iron out any issues and highlight the benefits.

BAE Wildcats will be used to try out different traffic scenarios on public and private roads around the city. The Wildcat is powered by biodiesel, has a Ladybug sensor with a 360 degree view and CycleEye. Cycle is already being used by buses to warn them when a cyclist is passing. You can watch videos of the cars in action on the Bristol Post website.

This scheme has all been made possible by the huge investment that the government made in July. A £20m research and development fund was created to pay for the cost of testing driverless cars. £100m of this year’s budget was given to ‘intelligent mobility.’ The world’s first code of practice in the UK was made thanks to the Department of Transport. This gave the go ahead to trial the scheme in a select few cities across the country.

It seems extremely futuristic, but connected cities, driverless cars and the internet of things are all built into plans for the near future. Samsung has launched the internet of things hub, which aims to unify devices around the home. Moreover, it’s not just Bristol looking to test out this new technology, Milton Keynes Greenwich and Coventry are also looking into the possibilities. 

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