The transportation group Addison Lee has announced a deal to bring self-driving vehicles to London by 2021. It’s agreed an alliance with Oxobotica, a UK self-driving software company. Under the agreement, the two companies will collaborate on the development of autonomous vehicles and services in London.
In a press release, the companies say they will ‘work together to 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’.
Addison Lee Group’s CEO, Andy Boland, says: “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.”
He adds: “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.”
Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, says: “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.”
This new alliance will also start looking at offering services in New York and other international markets.
According to a 2017 report from Catapult Transport Systems, the UK market for connected autonomous vehicle technology is predicted to be worth £28 billion by 2035.