New trials for driverless cars are on their way to Greenwich after O2 announced it is planning to use its new 5G network for an ambitious new project.

The mobile phone network has signed an agreement to provide 5G internet connectivity for trials of autonomous vehicles in the capital city, specifically the 'Smart Mobility Living Lab' (SMLL).

Dubbed the world's most advanced urban test bed, the SMLL is a government-backed area in Greenwich using open public roads to help test and build a safer, more intelligent transport network, specifically one using driverless cars.

O2 says that driverless technology could reduce CO2 emissions by 330,000 tonnes per year and cut the time people spend in traffic by a tenth.

The company claims 5G alone can save the economy £880 million per year, with the new technology already live in six UK cities, rising to 20 by the end of the year.

O2's chief technology officer, Brendan O'Reilly, said: "We know that by powering the transport sector we can make a real difference to consumers by reducing traffic congestion, making journeys safer and faster."

The trials will start around Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, building on previous trials in Bedfordshire.

Mr O'Reilly added: "The technology has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, as well as making journeys safer and more enjoyable.

"That’s why we’re excited to be working with the teams at the Smart Mobility Living Lab, who are driving forward our understanding how this next generation technology will fundamentally change the fabric of the cities in which we live and work as well as creating entirely new methods of travel.”