[Image via Podcars]
Milton Keynes sounds like the name of someone your cousin married for his money, but in fact it's a large town in Buckinghamshire, 50 miles northwest of London. With a population of over 200,000, it can be considered urban, and the area is about to become more well-known, perhaps even famous. Because in 2015 it will start deploying driverless taxis, also called PRTs, for Personal Rapid Transit.
In actuality the electricity-operated PRTs are less like taxis and more like surface-going, two-person subway cars that travel directly from point A to point B, without making undesired stops. Routes, it seems, will be fixed, with the town's central train station serving as a hub, and areas of service expected to include the local shopping mall and particular office buildings.
PRTs are not without precedent in the UK; London Heathrow has been running them since 2011 to ferry passengers between terminals, and the things recharge themselves. Check out how they operate, and don't be put off by this video's silly beginning, as the entire thing is pretty informative:
The 2015 date signifies the beginning of a test run for PRTs in Milton Keynes, and if all goes well, by 2017 they'll flood the streets with 100 of them. Prices will start at two pounds a pop. If you want you can also leave a tip, but that would make you a complete idiot.