Car service business Addison Lee Group and self-driving vehicle software developer Oxbotica have announced a strategic alliance to bring self-driving vehicles to London’s streets.
The two companies will collaborate on developing, deploying and operating autonomous vehicles, with a view to providing self-driving car services to passengers in London by 2021.
"Urban transport will change beyond recognition in the next 10 years with the introduction of self-driving services"
As they prepare for the deployment of autonomous cars on the capital’s streets, the companies will work together to create detailed digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of roads in and around London.
Oxbotica CEO Graeme Smith said that the partnership represented a “huge leap” towards putting autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London and, eventually, further afield.
“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,” said Smith.
Longer-term, the partners hope to capture a greater share of an expanding UK market for connected and autonomous vehicle services, whose value is forecast to reach £28 billion by 2035.
Autonomous shuttle services
“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 Addison Lee Group CEO Andy Boland.
“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.”
As well as offering affordable ride-sharing services to passengers, the companies will explore opportunities to provide autonomous shuttles for corporate use and for airport and campus-based services.
“We are proud to be partnering with a British technology pioneer and leader in autonomous vehicle technology, Oxbotica, and together we will continue our British success story in how we revolutionise the way people get around cities,” added Boland.
Future urban mobility
The companies hope to build on growing consumer use of car services, as urban populations rise and private car ownership declines. After introducing services in London, the partners plan to target passengers in New York and other international markets.
Addison Lee Group set up and led the MERGE Greenwich consortium, a government-funded project which predicted that autonomous ride-sharing services could account for a third of all trips by private drivers in London by 2025.