Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

UK Government Invest £8.6M in Self-Driving Car Consortium



Image via Oxbotica

A group of companies and researchers will test a fleet of self-driving cars on the streets and highways of Britain starting in 2019, backed by a £8.6 million government grant.

Oxford University spinout Oxbotica will be leading the DRIVEN consortium, which comprises several other major players including Oxford Robotics Institute, TelefonicaUK,  Transport for London, and reinsurance company XL Catlin.

The Innovate-UK-funded group’s ultimate end is deploying driverless vehicles in UK cities and motorways over 30 months, with the ultimate goal of creating a driverless cars route from London to Oxford.

More in general, DRIVEN will look at how to make self-driving cars commercially viable, tackling such hurdles as car-to-car communication, cybersecurity, and  insurance models for driverless cars.

The project was kickstarted in the wake of a House of Lords report— published last month— which highlighted how government-led research on driverless cars focused too much on the tech, while neglecting the practicalities of deploying the vehicles on the road.

“No company, group or consortium of autonomy experts has ever attempted what DRIVEN is planning over the next 30-months,” Oxbotica CEO Graeme Smith said. “We are seeking to address some of the most fundamental challenges preventing the future commercial deployment of fully autonomous vehicles. I have full confidence in DRIVEN’s world-leading and internationally respected team of specialists to deliver this project.”

Oxford Robotics’ head Paul Newman— also among Oxbotica’s founders— also commented,“DRIVEN is the first of its kind and brings a host of new questions surrounding the way these vehicles will communicate with each other,” he explained.

“We’re moving from the singleton autonomous vehicle, to fleets of autonomous vehicles – and what’s interesting to us at the Oxford Robotics Institute is what data the vehicles share with one another, when, and why,” he added.



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