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­.k. Humandrive Initiative to Test Self-Driving Cars on Country Roads

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roundabout in the U.K.

Roundabouts pose a challenge for autonomous vehicles.

Credit: Getty Images

The HumanDrive initiative in the U.K. seeks to refine driverless automobile navigation systems for conditions that include country roads and high-speed roundabouts, via a new autonomous car trial. Simulated tests will be conducted to ensure the vehicles are as safe as possible before the cars take to public roads in a 200-mile journey, due to commence next year.

"U.K. roads throw up some particular challenges," says Mark Westwood with the Transport Systems Catapult. "They are different from American roads, with roundabouts and demanding country lanes. These are really testing environments."

The purpose of the HumanDrive initiative is to design the control system so that an autonomous car can learn to drive as a human would, Westwood says.

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