Oxbotica on the long road to self-driving

24/05/2022
Chris Ames

Self-driving car developer Oxbotica has completed what it says is the first ‘safe and sustainable’ deployment of a zero-occupancy, fully autonomous vehicle on publicly accessible roads in Europe.

Oxbotica said the all-electric AppliedEV vehicle is operating in Oxford with no on-board driver, marking the next step in commercialising AV technology.

The Oxford-based firm said it had collaborated with the wider autonomous vehicle ecosystem to ensure the trial was conducted in line with the UK Code of Practice 2019, BSI PAS 1881:2020 and PAS 1883:2020. The Code of Practice requires ‘a driver or operator, in or out of the vehicle, who is ready, able, and willing to resume control of the vehicle’.

As Highways' sister publication, Transport Network, has reported, the Government failed to meet a pledge to have fully driverless vehicles on UK roads by 2021. The Code of Practice states that a process to support developers wanting to conduct advanced trial will be available when they are ready to do such trials.

As another sign of the slow pace of development of self-driving vehicles, Oxbotica said that what it called its ‘landmark achievement’ followed two years of extensive trials to define a robust safety case and develop system architecture, in both off and on-road operations across the UK, Europe and North America.

Oxbotica founder and CTO Paul Newman 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.’

The firm said its core product, 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.

Alex Harvey, chief of advanced technology at Ocado Technology, said: ‘This is a fantastic milestone and we are delighted to see Oxbotica making significant progress towards zero-occupancy goods deliveries. We continue to collaborate closely with Oxbotica. ’

However, Ocado told Highways that customers would initially have to get their groceries from the kerbside, or from the driveway where the autonomous vehicle has parked, although it hoped eventually to have a robot that can collaborate with the autonomous vehicle to deliver the groceries to their kitchen.

A spokesperson said: “Developing technology that can drive autonomously on public roads, in any weather condition, any time of day, anywhere, is a huge engineering challenge and where we will be focusing our attention 100% initially.'

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Also Inside:

  • Buying better roads
  • Coming clean on carbon
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager

£57621 - £61410 per annum
Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager Permanent, Full Time £57,621 to £61,410 per annum Location
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Yard supervisor - NY Highways (Boroughbridge)

£29,162 to £31,540
Are you a Yard Supervisor or ex-military personnel looking for a new role and the opportunity become a central part of NY Highways? Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Skilled Operatives - Boroughbridge (NY Highways)

£22,994 - £26,413
We are looking for motivated and enthusiastic Skilled Operatives to join our Highways teams based at the Boroughbridge depot. North Yorkshire / Countywide
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Fleet Transport Manager

£43,570 - £47,665
You will be a highly motivated experienced and professional manager. Blackburn, Lancashire
Recruiter: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Senior Project Manager

£47,523 - £52,402
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council's Major Transport Projects. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Site Supervisor / Ganger - NY Highways

£29,162
At NY Highways, 'who you are' matters. We want to get to know you. North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transport Planning Apprentice

£18,891
To work in various sections of the Department as assigned to gain experience in Transport Planning. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Highways Structures Manager

£43,910 to £50,504
City of York Council are excited to announce that they are seeking a Highways Structures Manager. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

HGV Driver (Refuse Vehicle) Hexham

£20,444 - £22,129
You will have overall responsibility for the careful use and maintenance of the vehicle and allocated tools and equipment. Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Inspector

£28,226 - £30,095
The Street Works Team currently has a vacancy for a Street Works Inspector. Cambridgeshire, Various places-working out of office base.
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Streetworks and Permitting Officer

£21,269 - £23,953
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Engineer (ITS and Sustainable Travel Infrastructure)

From £38,553 to £53,378 per annum (Grade KL)
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced engineer to lead the Council’s ITS and sustainable travel infrastructure team. Berkshire
Recruiter: West Berkshire Council

Trainee Inspection and Enforcement Officer

£24,225-£32,091
We are looking to recruit four enthusiastic trainee Inspectors and one Network Co-ordinator. Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Sign Services & Traffic Management Operative

£20,856 - £22,131
To work as part of a team to deliver a best value, customer-focussed service throughout Leicestershire. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Senior Engineer

£62,905 - £69,137
In Jersey we are at the dawn of a new era. Jersey (GB) (JE)
Recruiter: Government of Jersey

Assistant Fleet Manager - Operations

£38,553 to £42,614
An exciting and fantastic opportunity has arisen for an Assistant Fleet Manager (Operations). Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Workshop Engineer

£29,427.69 - £31,776.90
The Fleet team at City of York Council have an exciting opportunity for an HGV mechanic to join a strong team. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

NEAT Team Operative/Driver (Stakeford)

£19,650 - £20,043
You will provide an efficient and effective street cleansing, public convenience and grounds-maintenance service Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Transport Planner

£34,373 - £40,578
It is an exciting time to join the Highways Service at Rochdale Council. Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Rochdale BC

Group Leader Highway Development Control

£43,570- £49,705
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Environment and Technical Division, NSPPP for a Highway Development Control Officer. Torfaen (Tor-faen)
Recruiter: Torfaen County Borough Council

Highways Presents

 

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video