A handful of automakers are taking part in a trial for connected and self-driving carsin the United Kingdom as part of a government-backed initiative called Autodrive. The initiative aims to make the UK a hub for the development of self-driving technology.

The trial is taking place at the HORIBA MIRA test facility in Nuneaton and includes automakers Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F], Jaguar, Land Rover and Tata. There are three main systems being tested, including one that tells you what speed to drive at to ensure the traffic lights are always green.

Advanced Highway Assist: This is a fully self-driving system that enables a vehicle, in highway conditions, to stay in its lane and even overtake slower moving vehicles without the driver needing to control the steering wheels or pedals.

Electronic Emergency Brake Light Assist: This warns drivers when a vehicle ahead brakes severely or unexpectedly. Such a feature would prove particularly handy in low-visibility conditions, such as thick fog.

Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory: This system takes information from upcoming traffic lights and informs the driver on the speed required to reach the lights when they are still green. Such a system is expected to improve traffic flow while at the same time reduce emissions.

Another Autodrive trial involving fully self-driving pod cars is being conducted in Milton Keynes.

Separately, Jaguar and Land Rover are testing additional self-driving technologies using a 100-car fleet.

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