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A driverless bus will be zooming around Greenwich over the next three weeks

Written by
Alexandra Sims

Get ready to feel like you’re in an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ because a driverless shuttle bus is hitting the streets of London. The driverless vehicle will be zooming around North Greenwich for the next three weeks in the first extended trial of its kind in the UK starting this week. The prototype bus, named ‘Harry’ after the famous clockmaker John Harrison, will travel across a two-mile long riverside path near the O2 Arena. 

Hazza seats around four people at a time, travels at speeds of up to 10mph and is controlled by a computer. Perhaps, alarmingly it doesn't have a steering wheel or a brake pedal, but will navigate the route with the help of five cameras and three lasers. Fortunately, this tech allows Harry to see up to 100m ahead and come to a stop if it detects anything in its path. There'll be a trained person on board able to carry out an emergency break if needed, just in case. So, like the DLR, it's technically driverless, but still needs supervision.

Oxbotica, the firm that developed the shuttle, said fifty thousand people had applied to be part of the trial, however only 100 lucky folks will get to travel on Harry over the trial period. But don't worry if you didn't get picked this time – they reckon paying passengers could start using the buses as early as 2019.

In other news, a double decker bus got stuck on a central London street after attempting a three-point turn.

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