“Driverless” car rental service launched in Milton Keynes

A car rental service that delivers a vehicle to the user driverlessly has been launched in Milton Keynes by start-up Imperium Drive.

The Fetch vehicle system has been demonstrated to the BBC after being tested for 18 months, and will now be available to customers.

Imperium Drive, the company behind the service where cars are controlled by an office-based operator, claimed it was the first of its kind in Europe.

Chief executive, Koosha Kaveh, told the BBC: “It’s driverless but not autonomous – yet.”

The operator of the car has a 360-degree view of the roads using cameras built into the vehicle, as well as anti-crash safety systems in the operating software.

Customers can hire the electric cars through an app and although they drive them as normal, the vehicles are delivered driverless, to any location within a four-mile radius of Milton Keynes city centre.

When the rental period expires, the operator resumes control and collects the vehicle.

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