Footballers Trial Driverless Cars

Thu 6th Jan 2022

Professional footballers in the UK may be used to being pampered but a new scheme is taking things to another level, with players from MK Dons being given the opportunity to have driverless cars at their beck and call.

The trial of the futuristic transport option is taking place in Milton Keynes, where the footballers, currently the only people allowed to book the cars via an app, can order a vehicle wherever they are, delivering them to their destination and not having to worry about parking.

The project is being managed by Imperium Drive, who have allowed the MK Dons players to trial the technology. While driverless, the vehicles are not autonomous, they are remote controlled by a remote operator, as explained by the company’s chief executive, Koosha Kaveh.

"There's still a human involved, but they'll be sitting in a control centre controlling the vehicle in the same way you would control a drone," Kaveh said.

"We're working towards making remote driving safer than normal driving.

"In normal driving you still have blind spots around you that cause accidents.

"You also can't anticipate what's coming in terms of traffic, pedestrians, cyclists.

"Our goal is to make remote driving safer than actual driving.”

The players are currently trialing the vehicles to take them from the stadium to their training ground, but the town’s head of transport innovation, Brian Matthews is hoping to extend the scheme so that commuters can use the vehicles to get home from the train station. 

"We've been working at this for a number of years. We want people to move away from single occupancy cars," Matthews said.

"We're looking for a range of solutions, not just these driverless cars, but also larger shuttles using similar technology and four-seater pods that are completely autonomous."