Start-Up Promises Londoners Autonomous Transport in 2020

Start-Up Promises Londoners Autonomous Transport in 2020

A start-up is promising Londoners access to self-driving ride-shares from 2020 onward.

FiveAI said its shared autonomous vehicles will become available to residents of the city from then. Five of the AVs have begun undergoing “supervised tests” in the outer boroughs of Bromley and Croydon, tests that will be “incrementally expanded” before passenger trials are rolled out in 2020, a year before the UK government wants AVs on the nation’s roads.

A FiveAI statement said that since August 2018, its cars have been driven manually around Bromley and Croydon to gather data on the boroughs’ road users, street layouts, and “demand patterns”. This data would assist the “safety” of the self-driving tests.

It said human back-up drivers would be present for the “supervised tests” but did not say whether they would be for the passenger trials. FiveAI CEO Stan Boland said it would “continue to keep residents informed along the way, working closely with the London boroughs and Transport for London (TfL)”.

TfL director of transport innovation Michael Hurwitz said: “The outlook for AV technology is still uncertain but it has the potential to significantly change travel”. Transport Minister Jesse Norman added: “I welcome the safe testing of this new technology”.

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