1. ITV Report

Autonomous cars out for testing on London streets with view to launch trials in 2020

The service could be rolled out for passengers next year. Credit: Credit: FiveAI

Self-driving cars have hit the roads in south London as part of supervised tests - with a view to rolling them out for passengers next year.

Autonomous technology firm FiveAI, which has plans to launch a car-sharing service in London, has started testing five cars in Bromley and Croydon.

The company hopes to begin passenger trials in 2020.

The five vehicles will operate all day and every day, with trained safety drivers in the vehicles at all times to take control if needed.

FiveAI first began collecting data by manually driving their sensor-enabled cars on London streets last year to help build the software required to run the tests.

The cars will run a service all day and every day. Credit: Credit: FiveAI

It says it has worked with local councils and Transport for London (TfL) as part of its planning for the scheme.

The company’s co-founder and chief executive Stan Boland said: “Safety and trusted partnerships are crucial to everything we do.

“We’ll continue to keep residents informed along the way, working closely with the London Boroughs and Transport for London.”

The hope to reduce congestion, emissions and incidents

The company has previously said it hopes to eventually create an autonomous car service that could help reduce congestion, emissions, incidents and the cost and time of journeys in London.

In 2017, the company was also part of a consortium that was awarded a grant of more than £12 million by the Government to develop software for an autonomous car system, a project known as StreetWise.

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Future of mobility minister Jesse Norman said the Government was keen on seeing self-driving cars on UK roads.

“The long term potential for self-driving vehicles is huge – to improve road safety, tackle loneliness and isolation and create economic opportunity,” he said.

“So I welcome the safe testing of this new technology. But increasingly self-driving cars are just one of many innovations we are likely to see on our roads.

"The Government’s new Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy sets out how it will plan for their introduction.”