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Oxbotica's DRIVEN project

Oxbotica's autonomous vehicles are interacting for the first time as part of their DRIVEN project.


Prof. Paul Newman:

DRIVEN is super interesting, because it's not just about autonomous cars, it's about fleets of autonomous cars.

And it's not just about fleet of autonomous cars, it's about how those feats of autonomous cars can operate with an eye on what's the safest thing to do.

Dr. Graeme Smith:

It's the first trial of multiple vehicles. A lot of the other trials in the UK are looking at single vehicles.

So this is a trial of 6 autonomous vehicles, working cooperatively in a very fixed space, that will share information that helps each other improve how they behave.

Part of the project is to have vehicles like this one here running autonomously around Oxford and London, and in between Oxford and London.

Prof. Paul Newman:

We've started the trials in Oxford Centre at the moment. We'll be moving to London in September.

So you'll see these vehicle fleets are already out on the roads testing them. And sometime early next year we'll be running the whole route between Oxford and London.

And then you'll see that spread over southern England, as we really try to build this fleet up across the UK AND export it.

It's really acting as a catalyst for us to do something more. This brings different partners together that perhaps you wouldn't naturally do. We said this is what this technology should be able to do, who are the people that can nail that. And we folded all of these together in a fantastic collaboration here.

The consortium has brought together a really great set of partners with different skills. We have NOMINET thinking about cybersecurity. We have Telefónica thinking about communications. We have XL Catlin thinking about insurance.

Dr. Graeme Smith:

From Oxfordshire County Council we'll be getting some information about traffic on the roads from their traffic control system.

Prof. Paul Newman:

One of the partners in Germany is TRL, who are super experts in Road Transport Safety.

Dr. Graeme Smith:

So although we're starting this trial here in the UK, we're already starting to build vehicles in other places. For example, we just built a vehicle in California.
But we're also starting to think about; how do you then move this from the UK, to the rest of Europe, to the rest of the world.

Prof. Paul Newman:

Something extraordinary is going to happen from this. And now think beyond vehicles that are on the road. Think about new kinds of transport systems in cities. Think about shipping ports. Think about mines. Think about farming. Think about all the places that we move stuff.

The kind of technology they we're working on here has a role to play, in moving it quicker, faster, safer and more of it.