A collection of different companies including one of the UK’s biggest fleets are developing a business model for the mass-market introduction of autonomous vehicles (AV) by 2025.
Luxury taxi giant, Addison Lee, estimates up to a third of London car journeys could be replaced by autonomous vehicles by 2025.
This would account for 2.5 million passenger trips a day, equivalent to one-in-seven trips taken in the capital, creating a £3.5 billion a year transport sector.
To be prepared for the future developments of autonomous vehicles the organisation is bringing its wealth of real world commercial knowledge of operating a large fleet on a global scale, to enable the project to accelerate the validation of the AV ride-sharing model beyond any previous project.
The consortium, backed by funding from the Government’s Innovate UK, will spend the next year looking at how AV ride-sharing can support and interact with public transport to create a working business model in the capital.
Research will be based around the London Borough of Greenwich, which has already been a hub for a number of trials of AVs.
It will also look at other potential uses for services, such as small goods delivery in autonomous vehicles.
In addition to Addison Lee, the Merge Greenwich consortium involves mobility experts from Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities and Immense Simulations, which will provide complex computer modelling of the impact of ride-sharing programmes.
The project will demonstrate how this integrated solution can benefit consumers, society and the environment and offer ideas on how to improve the efficiency of the way people travel around cities and how to reduce total vehicle journeys and emissions.
The year-long research programme will also identify key requirements for a vehicle that is used in delivering an AV ride-sharing service and it will also review customer barriers to adoption.
Finally, it will deliver a detailed commercial and business model to show how an AV ride-sharing service can be brought to market.