Mobilicity, described as a "demand responsive, driverless vehicle that could be the answer to the private car" on city streets, has been launched in the UK, according to a Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) newsletter.

The concept is based on a five metre long, driverless passenger car that can operate independently or as part of a multi-vehicle 'snake'. Running independently, a car would collect a passenger and then deliver him or her to a precise destination, perhaps doing part of the journey as part of the aforementioned snake.

The service could run 24 hours a day and, with the right support, could be working in London for the 2012 Olympics.

The concept would run on electric power and so is emission-free at the point of use. "Much of the technology to make Mobilicity happen already exists and is working on other vehicles," backers the Royal College of Art and a UK vehicle consultancy said.