Cambridge co starts driverless car tests in London

2 April 2019, 15:04 | Updated: 2 April 2019, 15:07

Five AI Cambridge Millbrook

Supervised tests of a potential autonomous car service built by a Cambridge-based artificial intelligence firm have begun in two London boroughs.

Autonomous technology firm FiveAI has started testing five self-driving cars in Bromley and Croydon as the latest step in its plans to eventually roll out an autonomous, car-sharing service in London.

The company hopes to begin passenger trials in 2020.

As part of the test, the five vehicles will operate on all days of the week and all times of day and night, with trained safety drivers in the vehicles at all times to take control if required.

FiveAI first began gathering data by manually driving their sensor-enabled cars on London streets last year to help build the software required to run the tests.

It says it has worked with local councils and Transport for London as part of its planning for the scheme.

The company's co-founder and chief executive Stan Boland said:

"Safety and trusted partnerships are crucial to everything we do.

We'll continue to keep residents informed along the way, working closely with the London Boroughs and Transport for London."

The company has previously said it hopes to eventually create an autonomous car service that could help reduce congestion, emissions, incidents and the cost and time of journeys in London.

In 2017, the company was also part of a consortium that was awarded a grant of more than £12m by the Government to develop software for an autonomous car system, a project known as StreetWise.