Oxbotica Expands AV Fleet Into London

Oxbotica is to expand its fleet of autonomous vehicles from the public roads of Oxford to those of London.

The company, which was spun out of the University of Oxford in 2014 and became the UK’s first approved AV tester, is to use funding it has received from Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ DRIVEN consortium to operate a fleet of six autonomous vehicles using its own Selenium and Caesium software systems on public roads in London and Oxford.

Selenium is a mapping system that allows Oxbotica’s cars to determine their own locations using strategically placed sensors. Caesium is a cloud-based system that allows the AVs to swap data with each other. However, CEO Graeme Smith is at pains to point out that widespread adoption of these technologies is unlikely to take hold any time soon.

He said: “Based on our current trials, we’re likely to see autonomous vehicles solely operating in very specific areas at first, for example, transporting passengers between airport terminals and luggage to airplanes.” He added that use of AVs for longer, more complex journeys could only become a reality if “the right regulations” were to be implemented.

Smith was also keen to boast of Oxbotica’s software’s absence of reliance on GPS and claimed AVs “are much safer than ordinary cars for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians” if they have “the right technology in place”.


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