The UK’s Oxbotica, a leader in autonomous vehicle software, has completed the first safe and sustainable deployment of a zero-occupancy, fully autonomous, new-type electric vehicle on publicly accessible roads in Europe.
The AppliedEV, driven by Oxbotica, is operating in the city of Oxford, UK, with no on-board driver, marking the next step in commercialising AV technology.
The target for the first public on-road business deployment is with Ocado Group, with a goods delivery variant.
Fully driverless customer orders will be completed from 2023 onwards.
Oxbotica will also now accelerate commercial deployment of AVs globally. Working with partners, such as ZF, bp and NEVS, it will enable autonomous passenger shuttles and industry-specific platforms, all driven by its core product: Oxbotica Driver.
Oxbotica Driver uses a combination of radar vision and laser-based sensors to provide the vehicle with a rich understanding of its surroundings, with multiple AI continuously checking and explaining decisions.
Paul Newman, Oxbotica founder & CTO, says: “Oxbotica is changing the way people and goods move. Our goal is to be indistinguishable from perfect on safety, and this achievement alongside our partners is proof of that. It’s a historic moment for the UK, the transport and logistics sector, autonomous vehicle technology, and Oxbotica.”
Alex Harvey, Chief of Advanced Technology at Ocado Technology, adds: “This is a fantastic milestone and we are delighted to see Oxbotica making significant progress towards zero-occupancy goods deliveries. We continue to collaborate closely with Oxbotica and are excited about providing this transformational capability to Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) partners at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Gavin Jackson, Oxbotica CEO, comments: “This Europe-first trial positions the UK as the number one destination for autonomous vehicle development and leapfrogs us towards commercialisation and the subsequent economic benefits available in this hyper-growth technology category. Autonomous vehicles will create billions of pounds in new revenues and generate thousands of high-skilled jobs, while helping cities and businesses meet their targets for carbon reductions. Our zero-occupancy, all-electric, fully autonomous prototype is exactly the new-type vehicle that will form the mainstay of the transportation industry for decades to come.”
Oxbotica, headquartered in Oxford, UK, and Toronto, Canada, is unlocking value across multiple domains alongside its partners such as ZF, Ocado, bp, and Wenco.
Its research and development projects have benefitted from around £20m in UK Government innovation grants since 2015.