Updated: Feb 24
London on demand taxi firm Addison Lee will work with Oxbotica, a spin-out of Oxford University which is working on self-driving vehicles to bring autonomous taxis to the roads of London by 2021. Addison Lee has been working with Ford on a year-long investigation and other mobility specialists on how to build self-driving systems that integrate with London’s existing transport infrastructure. Oxbotica has started mapping more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around London, using its technology to create a comprehensive map of every traffic feature. The link-up could eventually allow Addison Lee’s fleet of black Mercedes and Prius cabs to be driven autonomously, but the 5,000 drivers in London will remain employed, the firm says. However, it could also offer a cheaper, autonomous ride-sharing version of its hire service when the technology is read. Initially the technology will be limited to shuttle buses and ride-sharing with a full autonomous taxi service coming later down the line. Addison Lee was created in 1975 and has grown to become Europe’s largest private hire car company. Oxbotica has raised around $18 million to date, with backers including Oxford, Innovate UK, the Ministry of Defence, the IP Group and insurers Axa XL. It has also been working with Ocado on driverless delivery vehicles in the recent past.