A new project is getting underway to trial an autonomous vehicle fleet in Oxford, with the researchers saying this brings the deployment of commercial autonomous vehicles in the UK one step closer.
Oxbotica-led Project Endeavour will run until Autumn 2021 with live tests in three major UK cities overall. The project aims to demonstrate autonomous driving in a variety of urban and city environments and will develop engagement models with local authorities and communities to help them prepare for the future launch of autonomous vehicle services.
The consortium, part-funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, is using a combination of advanced simulations and on-road demonstrations to help accelerate and scale the deployment and adoption of autonomous vehicles.
A fleet of six Ford Mondeo vehicles, enabled by Oxbotica to be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, will complete a nine-mile round trip from Oxford Parkway station to Oxford’s main train station. Trials will be run at all times of day and night, allowing Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicles to experience a range of traffic scenarios from morning commutes to school runs, in a range of weather conditions.
Software developer Oxbotica is working with urban innovators DG Cities and transport simulation company Immense, along with new partners TRL, the British Standards Institution and Oxfordshire County Council.