Driverless car test fleet to hit UK roads in 2019
A fleet of driverless vehicles
using UK-built technology is to be trialled between Oxford and London in a
30-month pilot set to take place in 2019.
Oxford-based artificial intelligence company, Oxbotica, is
leading the Driven consortium of companies, which has received an £8.6 million
grant from the government-backed Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles delivered
through Innovate UK.
The consortium will put manned cars onto roads of Oxford and
London and run them between the two cities as a public demonstration of the viability of this technology.
Supporters say the Driven consortium will show how autonomous vehicles will change the
world, both for the public and industrial users. The pilot scheme is also
designed to answer questions around cyber security and insurance as well as the
The Driven consortium is led
by Oxbotica and the other partners in the project are the Oxford Robotics
Institute, insurer XL Catlin, Nominet, Telefonica, the Transport Research
Laboratory (TRL), UKAEAs RACE facility, Oxfordshire County Council, Transport
for London and Westbourne Communications.
Dr Graeme Smith, chief executive of Oxbotica, said: “No
company, group or consortium of autonomy experts has ever attempted what Driven
is planning. We are seeking to address some of the most fundamental challenges
preventing the future commercial deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.”
Rob Wallis, chief executive at TRL, said: “We continue to
see a major industry shift towards automation, connectivity and electrification
of vehicles, and the use of shared mobility schemes.
“Such market disruption is transforming the way people will
travel, especially in cities, and it is vital that the UK remains at the
forefront of this development.”