Honda in gear to test driverless cars

Honda is about to start testing its driverless cars in a former US naval base outside San Francisco, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The company teamed up with University of Michigan's Mobility Transformation Center, which plans on opening a similar facility – Mcity, this summer in Ann Arbor.

The chosen test vehicle is a Acura RLX sedan, equipped with sensors and cameras, planned to be on future versions of the car.

The base has some 20 miles (approximately 32 kilometres) of roads and buildings, and not a living soul in them.

Honda said the 5,000-acre facility, which the U.S. Navy closed in 2007, is a "controlled environment that can be continuously modified" to test experimental vehicles and systems. Eventually, it will be used by a consortium that includes Honda as well as vehicle insurers, repairers and other auto-related enterprises.

Honda is not the only car manufacturer to test driverless vehicles on real roads. Google, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, General Motor, Bosch, Nissan, those are just some of the companies currently testing their autonomous cars.

In Europe, cities in Belgium, France, Italy and the UK are planning to operate transport systems for driverless cars and Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain have allowed testing robotic cars in traffic.

In 2015, the UK Government launched public trials of the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pod in Milton Keynes.

Even though many fear autonomous vehicles would pose a serious threat, and could have hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs, others say the technology could drastically increase traffic security and save people precious time.