Addison Lee Group, the global ground transportation business, and Oxbotica, the British leader in self-driving vehicle software, have agreed a wide-ranging strategic alliance that accelerates the implementation of autonomous vehicles to London’s streets. Under the agreement, the two companies will collaborate on the development, deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles with a view to providing customers self-driving services in London by 2021.
The long-term aim is to take greater share of an expanding car services market for connected autonomous vehicle technology, forecasted to be worth £28 billion in the UK by 2035. Addison Lee Group aims to use its trusted brand to offer affordable, quality, 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.
Addison Lee Group and Oxbotica, both British success stories, will pool expertise, technology and on-the-ground resource to explore self-driving car services that are safe and environmentally friendly, and which still deliver the exceptional customer experiences Addison Lee Group is known for. The companies 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.
With private car ownership declining at the same time city populations are expanding, consumers are increasing their use of car services. Added to that, the global transport services market is experiencing significant growth – specifically for the premium segment, which shows strong growth of up to 21 per cent by 2030. This provides an opportunity for focused investment in future-looking technologies that, alongside traditional driven vehicles, will help meet this need. By leveraging the strengths of each partner, the alliance will open new opportunities to reach consumers in new markets and segments starting in London, following into New York and other international markets.
Graeme Smith, CEO 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 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.”
Speaking on the significance of the alliance, Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group, 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.
“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. 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.”
Addison Lee Group recently set up and led the MERGE Greenwich consortium, 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.