An executive taxi company and a leading supplier of autonomous vehicle software have teamed up in a bid to bring autonomous vehicles to London’s streets in the next few years.
Addison Lee and Oxbotica will collaborate on the development, deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles – with a view to providing ‘self-driving services’ to Addison Lee’s customers by 2021.
The companies will work together to create detailed, digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around London. The maps will record the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in preparation for the deployment of autonomous cars.
The partners say the long-term aim is to take a greater share of the autonomous vehicle market, forecast to be worth £28bn in the UK by 2035.
Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, said: “This represents a huge leap towards bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London, and eventually in cities across the UK and beyond.
“Our partnership with Addison Lee Group represents another milestone for the commercial deployment of our integrated autonomous vehicle and fleet management software systems in complex urban transport conditions.
“Together, we are taking a major step in delivering the future of mobility.”
Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group, said: “Urban transport will change beyond recognition in the next 10 years with the introduction of self-driving services, and we intend to be at the very forefront of this change by acting now.
“Autonomous technology holds the key to many of the challenges we face in transport. By providing ride-sharing services, we can help address congestion, free space used for parking and improve urban air quality through zero-emission vehicles.”
Addison Lee recently set up and led the MERGE Greenwich consortium, a Government-funded project investigating how autonomous vehicle ride-sharing could be introduced to complement existing public transport services.
Using the London borough of Greenwich as a model, the project found that by 2025, self-driving, ride-shared services could assist significantly with addressing the Capital’s transport challenges, making it easier and more accessible for citizens to move around.
Oxbotica is leading the DRIVEN consortium, and has already launched a fleet of vehicles currently running autonomously in public trials in London and Oxford.