Driverless ride-sharing could account for a third of all trips in London by private drivers in 2025, according to a government-backed consortium led by Addison Lee.
Some 34 per cent of private drivers' journeys could be replaced, while up to 30 per cent of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by autonomous vehicle ride-sharing, according to the consortium.
Overall, a driverless ride-sharing service could end up accounting for one in seven of all trips within London over the next eight years. That is equivalent to 2.5m trips a day, and could eat into 25 per cent of the total transport market by value, around £3.5bn.
“The idea that one in three London car journeys could be replaced by autonomous vehicles by 2025 shows the huge potential in the sector,” said Andy Boland, Addison Lee’s chief executive.
The figures were compiled from studies carried out in Los Angeles and Boston, along with the London travel demand survey.
The Merge Greenwich consortium, made up of six partners, is undertaking a year-long project looking into ways new technology can be weaved into London's current public transport network.
Along with Addison Lee, Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities and Immense Simulations are all taking part.
The project is exploring driverless cars and ride-sharing, and will focus initially on Greenwich.
It will also look into the key requirements for a vehicle to make driverless ride-sharing sustainable, and look into the reasons customers are reluctant to use such services and consider how to overcome them.
Paul McCabe, Addison Lee director of mobility, said the project will "pave the way for autonomous vehicles on the streets of London at scale".
Merge Greenwich has been backed by the government, with funding from Innovate UK.
Innovate UK’s chief executive Ruth McKernan said: "Successful industry-led R&D projects will further spearhead UK development of low emission, and connected and autonomous vehicle technology."