Self-driving vehicles on display in London exhibition

For some time now, the advent of autonomous vehicles has promised to change our lives. And as interest in autonomous vehicles grows, a new exhibition is being launched in London to explore how close we are to living in a world driven by thinking machines.

The Science Museum’s exhibition, ‘Driverless: Who is in control?’, will explore how much of the technology required for self-driving cars and autonomous drones already exists; how much control we’re willing to transfer to autonomous vehicles; and how the wider deployment of self-driving vehicles could shape our habits, behaviour and society.

Driverless transports the visitor into a world where artificial intelligence has embodied agency, with all the benefits or consequences that brings,“ said lead exhibition curator Ling Lee.

“This exhibition will explore what could happen when we let algorithms make decisions for us, not just from behind the screens of our mobile phones or self-checkout counters, but in our physical reality. More importantly, we’ll be revealing the human stories behind the hype - how programmers, policymakers and the public have a hand in shaping our interactions with these thinking machines.”

Driverless will allow visitors to get close to examples of real self-driving vehicles, including a classic 1960 Citroen DS19 car from the Science Museum Group collection that was modified in the UK to ‘self-drive’ in early experiments in driverless technology.

From more recent times, visitors will be able to view the Robocar, a self-driving electric racing car, and the Westfield POD, a fully electric autonomous vehicle designed for first- and last-mile journeys.

In addition, visitors will find other vehicles on display, including farming and delivery robots, and will get to explore interactive displays allowing them to ‘see’ through the eyes of a driverless car.

“Self-driving technologies have tremendous potential for road safety, mobility and the economy, and the Government is exploring these opportunities through its Future of Mobility Grand Challenge,” said UK Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman.

“It is great to see the Science Museum exploring this exciting innovation and its implications for future transport, and inspire the next generation of engineers.”

Driverless: Who is in control? will run from 12 June until October 2020.

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