Autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica and taxi firm Addison Lee and have begun 3D street mapping Canary Wharf in London in preparation for the deployment of the latter’s self-driving vehicles.
Addison Lee plans to roll out autonomous taxis by 2021, and Canary Wharf’s “campus-style” arrangement and high volume of commuters could make it suited to its first fleet, it CEO said.
The two companies are using a vehicle equipped with mapping technology, including vehicle radars, cameras, and LiDAR sensors that send out “laser pulses” to sense surroundings.
This will allow Oxbotica to create a 3D map of the area that features details such as kerbs, road signs, and traffic lights.
Oxbotica will use mapping data to help autonomous vehicles “be as knowledgeable as a local resident” of its surroundings. The data will also help build autonomous vehicles that meet urban requirements for transport, such as reduced congestion and improved air quality.
CEO of Oxbotica Graeme Smith said: “This mapping is another step towards making autonomous vehicles a reality in complex urban environments such as Canary Wharf.
“This partnership shows the trust we have gained to deploy our integrated autonomous vehicle and fleet management software in even the most challenging of environments.”
The trials, which are set to extend to the rest of London, with over 250,000 miles of public roads in the capital set to be mapped.
The companies will also repeat the mapping process at different times of the year to see how surroundings change based on weather or seasons.
Oxbotica Taxis as Familiar with Surroundings as Humans
In the future, Oxbotica taxis will match its surroundings to the 3D map to make judgements about what’s coming up on the roads.
Addison Lee told Computer Business Review that the company will use Oxbotica software in its autonomous taxi fleet.
The firm will also be updating its existing manually-driven fleet with the autonomous software, rather than replacing it with new vehicles from an autonomous manufacturer.
Oxbotica’s vehicle control software, Selenium, lets autonomous vehicles operate independently of any infrastructure, while its cloud-based fleet management system, Caesium, schedules and coordinates self-driving vehicle fleets.
The Oxford-based company raised £14 million in its first funding round in September, which it said it would use to double its workforce and potentially open offices in Asia or the US.