Driverless pods are set to begin public testing in the UK for the first time.

The autonomous vehicles use sensors, radar and vision processing to travel in areas which feature obstacles, such as pedestrians and bikes.

Infrastructure firm ACOM are trialling the new technology which has been produced with partners including the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

The test, which is the first to involve members of the public travelling in the pods without any dedicated supervisor inside, could result in the autonomous vehicles being used in UK cities – the idea being that it could be hailed using an app.

During the trial, researchers will be studying the public’s reaction to the new mode of transport.

George Lunt, technical director at AECOM, told Sky News: “With a number of benefits associated with autonomous vehicles, there is great potential for the UK to enter a diverse range of international markets.”

The project, called CAPRI, was awarded £35 million by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), which is a government department aiding the early market of driverless vehicles.

CAPRI is made up of 17 business and academic institutions. These include the University of the West of England, Bristol University and Heathrow Airport.

Testing on public roads is planned to begin later this year.