Zero-occupancy autonomous vehicle on-road journey completed in Oxford

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Oxbotica, an autonomous vehicle software provider, has completed the first safe deployment of a zero-occupancy, fully autonomous, new-type electric vehicle on publicly accessible roads in Europe.

The all-electric AppliedEV vehicle, driven by Oxbotica, is operating in Oxford with no on-board driver, marking the next step in commercialising AV technology. The target for the first public on-road business deployment with Ocado Group, with a goods delivery variant, completing customer orders will be from 2023 onwards.

Oxbotica will also now accelerate commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles globally. Working with partners, such as ZF, Bp and NEVS, it will enable autonomous passenger shuttles and industry-specific platforms, all driven by Oxbotica’s 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. The Oxford-based company said this process is a foundational requirement for the safe deployment of zero-occupancy autonomous vehicles and underpins the development of innovative insurance solutions for the future of transportation.

Paul Newman, Oxbotica founder & CTO, said: “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.”

This on-road journey follows two years of extensive trials by Oxbotica to define its robust safety case and develop its system architecture, in both off and on-road operations across the UK, Europe and North America.

Investment minister, Lord Grimstone, added: “Oxbotica’s completion of Europe’s first zero-occupancy self-driving vehicle journey on the road is testament to the UK’s world class automotive sector. It is great to see a UK company at the forefront of technology that will deliver safety and convenience for the public.

“This exciting development will further strengthen the UK’s reputation as a leading destination to develop and deploy self-driving vehicles, as well as helping grow a sector that will support highly-skilled jobs across the country.”

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