American car maker Fisker said development of its futuristic Orbit autonomous shuttle is on course for the first prototypes to hit the roads this year.
The model, which is designed to work in smart cities (highly connected and digitalised urban environments) as a sustainable mode of transport, controls itself using a pre-determined geo-fenced (a virtual boundaried) route. It is equipped with multiple LIDARs (which can measure distances) and a central control centre that acts as a 'brain'.
Such a kit list might suggest the Orbit is several years away from becoming fully operational, but company CEO Henrik Fisker told Autocar that full production will start in 2019. He added that the shuttle could make it to Britain almost straight away.
“It will be [in the UK] as soon as somebody orders it, because we don’t need to worry about right or left-hand drive with a fully autonomous vehicle,” he said. "The Orbit is intended for corporate campuses, college campuses, airports and city centers, resorts, parks."