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Private hire taxi business Adison Lee and British self-driving software specialist Oxbotica said on Monday that they struck a strategic alliance aiming to deploy and operate self-driving services in London by 2021.
Under the deal, Adison Lee and Oxbotica will collaborate on the development, deployment, and operation of autonomous vehicles to provide customers self-driving services in the UK’s capital by 2021.
The two companies will collaborate to create detailed digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around London. These maps will record the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark, and traffic light in preparation for the deployment of autonomous cars, they said.
Addison Lee aims to use its brand to offer affordable, 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, the company said.
“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,” Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group, said.
Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, said in the joint statement:
“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.”
The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told the BBC in November last year that the goal was to have “fully driverless cars” without a safety attendant on board by 2021.
“Some would say that’s a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution,” Hammond told the BBC last year.
Ride-hailing app Uber is also planning self-driving cars sometime in the future, but its autonomous business suffered a setback in March this year after one of the self-driving cars killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.