The two companies will collaborate on the creation of detailed digital maps that will record the position of kerbs, road signs, landmarks and traffic lights
Addison Lee Group, the world’s largest managed premium car service business, and UK-based self-driving software specialist, Oxbotica, are collaborating to bring self-driving services to London streets by 2021.
As part of a strategic alliance, the two companies will pool expertise, technology and on-the-ground resource to explore self-driving car services that are “safe and environmentally friendly”, and which still deliver the customer experiences Addison Lee Group is known for.
They will also create detailed, digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around the capital. These maps will record the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in preparation for the deployment of autonomous cars.
The long-term aim is to take greater share of the expanding car services market for connected autonomous vehicle technology. Addison Lee Group aims to use its trusted brand to offer affordable, quality, ride-shared services to passengers currently underserved by existing driven transport modes, as well as explore opportunities to provide corporate shuttles, airport and campus-based services.
After London, the companies are targeting New York and other international markets as well as cities across the UK.
“This represents a huge leap towards bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London, and eventually in cities across the United Kingdom and beyond,” said Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica.
“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.”
“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 Group 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 and make it easier and more accessible for citizens to move around.
In parallel, Oxbotica is leading the DRIVEN consortium, and has already launched a fleet of vehicles currently running autonomously in public trials in London and Oxford.
“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,” said Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group.
“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.”
You might also like:
AV ride-sharing: Social benefits and unintended consequences
The MERGE Greenwich Consortium has published the findings of a year-long research project into the city impacts of autonomous vehicle ride-sharing
Living lab for smart mobility launched
A group of companies are collaborating with the UK’s Transport Research Lab and DG Cities to speed up the development of future transport systems
The end of the red light?
Ford is imagining a future when connected cars at junctions could one day enable drivers to enjoy free-flowing traffic and avoid stop-start driving