Britain's winding country roads are ideal for testing the autonomous car to its limits. At least, that's the belief of the HumanDrive project, which will set a demanding route through rural UK areas.
British roads rarely remain straight for long, in contrast to American roads, which are often long and straight. So far, most driverless car testing has been carried out State-side.
The HumanDrive initiative will design the 200-mile route in conjunction with Nissan’s European Technical Centre, based in London.
The team says the route will be “the most complex journey yet attempted across the U.K. without driver input.”
It will take place in late 2019.
Along with country lanes, the route will take in busier roads - including motorways.
Preparation for the drive will centre on simulators connected to computers which will collect data for the driverless car's software.
The autonomous car will first be tested on private land, before it is let loose on public highways.
The team behind the car draws expertise and knowledge from a variety of organisations, including Hitachi, Cranfield University, the University of Leeds, Highways England and Transport Systems Catapult.
The latter firm organised the first ever autonomous driving trial in Britain, back in 2016.
“Low-carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility,” said the business and energy secretary, Greg Clark.
Mr Clark said he believes autonomous driving technology could be worth up to £52bn by 2035.
But the UK is up against some serious competition in the realm of the driverless car. Other organisations have been working on autonomous tech for some time, including Google (through Waymo), Apple and Tesla, alongside more traditional car companies like Ford, General Motors, Renault-Nissan, Daimler and Volkswagen.
On-demand transportation companies Uber and Lyft are also working on driverless car technology.
According to the Navigant Automated Driving Systems Leaderboard, GM, Ford, Renault-Nissan and Daimler are technology ‘leaders’, with firms like Waymo and VW being classed as ‘contenders’.