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Streetwise: developing self-driving vehicles for daily commute

5 February 2020

Story from UK Research and Innovation.

Cars with a single occupant fill the streets of towns and cities in the UK. This leads to congestion and pollution and a lot of frustrating delay.

Many predict that self-driving vehicles could transform urban environments. Autonomous vehicles will travel the streets and travellers will share rides.

The UK government estimates that the global market for so-called connected and autonomous vehicles could be £907 billion by 2035.

UK-based FiveAI , a specialist in building self-driving-vehicle technology, including artificial intelligence, computer vision and robotics, is leading a project, supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, that will look at the technical, regulatory, safety and social challenges faced by an urban commuter service based on shared self-driving electric vehicles.

Ben Peters, vice-president product of FiveAI, said, "Current public transport economics means aggregating passengers on to large buses, enabling operators to distribute the cost of a driver. This means many stops resulting in longer journeys or, at other times of the day, empty buses. If you remove the driver cost you can operate smaller vehicles even at busy times, making fewer stops. It encourages people to give up their personal cars. We then see knock-on benefits in terms of reduced congestion and pollution."

For the full story and more information about self-driving technology, please click here.