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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article24 September 2018London

Preparations for a driverless passenger service trial begin in London

In two London boroughs, a UK autonomous vehicle technology company has begun data collection as part of its intention to trial a shared driverless passenger service in 2019.

According to Croydon Council, fully trained safety drivers will drive up to 10 ‘FiveAI’ vehicles around in a way that replicates a typical ‘road-going’ car. Data gathering will occur at contrasting times of the day and night and will include imagery for object recognition and geometry (to calculate distance). The collation of data will also allow the company FiveAI to gain a detailed understanding of the road environment and road user behaviour (drivers, pedestrians and cyclists). Data collected will be used exclusively to develop their driverless vehicle technology. The collated data will not be used to identify individuals.

The vehicles, which will also operate in neighbouring Bromley, are not going to use autonomous technology in this phase, but will include a multitude of front-facing sensors on the roof and are branded distinctly to assure complete transparency. Croydon’s cabinet lead for environment and transport, Stuart King, stated: “Automated vehicles have the potential to improve access to transport especially in the less well-connected areas of the borough and they offer an exciting opportunity to widen travel options for our residents.”

Ben Peters, co-founder and VP product at FiveAI, added: “Throughout this exercise we want to keep residents informed about exactly what we’re doing, and why. We’ve been working closely with Croydon Council, Transport for London as well as all of the necessary authorities to ensure that this exercise is safe and fully compliant with UK law.”

Source: story first published by LocalGov on 15/08/2018



Publication date
24 September 2018
Monitoring and evaluation
United Kingdom