Addison Lee and Oxbotica to intro driverless taxis in London and New York
Addison Lee has struck a deal with self-driving car company Oxbotica to bring driverless taxis to the streets of London by 2021, with New York and other cities to follow.
The firm said it aims to take a greater share of the expanding UK market for connected autonomous vehicle technology, which the UK government reckons will be worth £28 billion by 2035.
It will offer ride-sharing services to passengers that are underserved by existing driven transport modes, it said, with self-driving shuttles, and airport and campus-based vehicle services alongside.
The two companies, both British, will 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, said Addison Lee.
Andy Boland, chief executive of Addison Lee Group, said: “Urban transport will change beyond recognition in the next 10 years with the introduction of self-driving services. We intend to be at the very forefront of this change.
“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, chief executive 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 United Kingdom and beyond.
“Our partnership with Addison Lee 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.”
Addison Lee has led the MERGE Greenwich consortium in the UK, 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.