FiveAI begins autonomous vehicle tests in South London

Published Wednesday, 3 April 2019

FiveAI announces the start of its supervised autonomous vehicle tests in the London Boroughs of Bromley and Croydon.

A significant next step towards launching autonomous, shared services in London with passenger trials starting in 2020.

In August 2018 FiveAI commenced their London data gathering exercises to understand the urban environments that their autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be operating in. This involved vehicles being driven manually to collect data including information about street geometry, road user behaviour, and demand patterns. This activity gave the company unprecedented degrees of insight into the local environment.

The data gathered, which ensures the vehicles are matched with the environment they will need to operate in, together with sophisticated sensor technology, will help the cars operate safely while being tested in autonomous mode. The tests will be incrementally expanded over the coming months in the lead up to passenger trials in 2020.

A total of five vehicles will be involved in this stage of tests and they may be seen operating in the area any day of the week, including day and night. Rigorous safety practices govern all of FiveAI’s operations and trained safety drivers will be present in the vehicle at all times, ready to take control if required. The vehicles are distinctive, with a visible sensor array installed on the roof, and are clearly branded to ensure transparency. FiveAI are engaged with all relevant London stakeholders including the London Boroughs of Bromley and Croydon and Transport for London (TfL).

“Safety and partnership are crucial to everything we do”, says Stan Boland, FiveAI co-founder and CEO. “We'll continue to keep residents informed along the way, working closely with the London boroughs and Transport for London.”

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services at Bromley Council, said: “We are grateful to FiveAI for their continued commitment to keeping our residents informed about their project. This is a significant announcement and an exciting step forwards. Although this whole area is inevitably still at an early development stage, the potential for technology to transform and improve the way we travel is real and we continue to watch this whole area with interest.”

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