Wednesday 7 November 2018 4:03 pm

Addison Lee launches self-driving taxi trials in Canary Wharf

Private hire firm Addison Lee has begun trialling self-driving car technology, created by UK startup Oxbotica, on the streets of London.

Driving around the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, Addison Lee's manned cars are creating a three-dimensional street map of the city in order to create the backdrop for future driverless cars.

Organised together with Canary Wharf Group and insurance firm Axa, the area's 128-acre estate will form the first stage of a mapping exercise across the capital where more than 250,000 roads will be analysed.

Canary Wharf Group's head of tech Mark Nallen said the partnership was a necessary move, if the financial hotspot is to keep up with growing visitor and commuter numbers.

"Transport is clearly vital to any growing population and as public transport routes become more heavily used, it is crucial we provide additional capacity to meet the increasing scale of their transport needs," said Nallen. 

"We believe the types of services envisaged by Addison Lee and Oxbotica could be part of the solution and we are delighted to be at the forefront of autonomous vehicle innovation.”

The news follows a strategic deal signed by Addison Lee and Oxbotica last month, which aims to bring driverless cars into commercial service for Londoners by 2021.