Canberra is oft compared to the UK’s Milton Keynes (over planned and badly planned, sterile, lots of roundabouts).
So it is with considerable distress I read in The Register that MK is getting roboting transport pods:
Milton Keynes will play host to a fleet of smartphone-controlled driverless pods powered by electric motors and gunning around the town at 12mph.
A hundred of the wee pods, which will only have enough space for two passengers and some luggage, will start rolling around the blocky Midlands town in 2015, whizzing between the central train station, the shopping centre and office blocks a mile away.
Weekly NewsletterEvery Thursday afternoon, we package up the most-read and trending RiotACT stories of the past seven days and deliver straight to your inbox..
Travellers will be charged £2 per journey and will be able to hail the cars off the street or book one to a certain location using their mobiles.
The pods will have an electric motor in each wheel and will use a combination of high-definition cameras and sensors to navigate around obstacles like buildings, roadworks and people. The cars will have their own lane to start out with, but once they’ve proven themselves, they’ll be able to travel on the same paths as pedestrians.
Are we really content to let the soapdodgers steal a march on us like this?