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Trials of autonomous cars will take place on London roads before Christmas. The DRIVEN consortium, which includes the UK’s Oxbotica and the insurance company AXA XL, says the tests will take place in the West London borough of Hounslow. They say it will be the UK’s most all-encompassing autonomous vehicles trial to date.

The consortium plans to run a fleet of autonomous vehicles between Oxford and London in 2019.

In a press release, Dr Graeme Smith, Oxbotica’s CEO, said: “Being autonomous before Christmas will showcase the huge amount of work Oxbotica’s expert team of engineers has completed since the DRIVEN consortium was established.”

He added: “These trials further demonstrate to the wider UK public that connected and autonomous vehicles will play an important role in the future of transport. This milestone shows the advanced state of our capabilities and firmly keeps us on the road to providing the technology needed to revolutionise road travel.”

To conduct the mapping, the vehicles are fitted with a wide variety of technology including autonomous software, radar, lidar sensors, on board computers and cameras. The consortium says – during the tests – there will always be a fully qualified safety driver behind the steering wheel.

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