Addison Lee Group has said it hopes to make self-driving cars available for services in London by 2021 as part of a new partnership with a specialist in the technology.
The ground transportation firm will work with Oxbotica, a developer of self-driving vehicle software, to deploy autonomous cars in the capital.
Addison Lee says its aim is to take “greater share of an expanding car services market” for self-driving vehicles, which is forecast to be worth £28 billion in the UK by 2035, according to the Transport Systems Catapult Market Forecast.
The firms will create detailed digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads in London that will record the positions of kerbs, road signs, landmarks and traffic lights to aid autonomous vehicles.
Addison Lee joins the likes of Uber in testing self-driving cars to provide services, although its rival ran into trouble earlier this year after one of its test vehicles was involved in a fatal accident.
Oxbotica has already launched a fleet of autonomous vehicles for public trials in London and Oxford.
Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group, commented: “Urban transport will change beyond recognition in the next ten years with the introduction of self-driving services, and we intend to be at the very forefront of this change by acting now. We are proud to be partnering with a British technology pioneer and leader in autonomous vehicle technology, Oxbotica, and together we will continue our British success story in how we revolutionise the way people get around cities.”
Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, added: “This represents a huge leap towards bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London, and eventually in cities across the United Kingdom and beyond.”