Driverless cabs come closer to reality as Addison Lee maps Canary Wharf

Addison Lee moved a step closer to unleashing driverless taxis on London’s roads today after it successfully mapped Canary Wharf.

The taxi firm has tied up with driverless software specialist Oxbotica, which used a vehicle equipped with mapping technology to record every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in Canary Wharf’s 128-acre estate.

Mapping is key to autonomous taxi development as it allows engineers to programme the vehicles so that they know where they are going.

Oxbotica will eventually map all of London’s 250,000 miles of public roads as it looks to roll out a fully driverless service by 2021.

Oxford University spin-out Oxbotica signed a deal to work with Addison Lee last month.

Oxbotica chief executive Graeme Smith said: “We look forward to bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London in the very near future.”

Smith said the company could undertake a full pilot in Canary Wharf in first half of next year, having already carried out trials in Greenwich, Gatwick and Heathrow.

The tech firm raised £14 million earlier this year from investors IP Group, Parkwalk Advisors and AXA.

EDIT:- ALL vehicles on Britains roads must have a driver with BOTH hands on the wheel. I see no laws in existence where these “Driverless” cars can be used in Britain, except off-road. If confronted by cones across a road and signs that say “Diversion” and an arrow to tell the drivers which way to divert, these cars would presumably just stand still for hours on end!
In the case of an accident, what is the position of the car insurance industry regarding them? I suggest it would be outright hostility, they would not allow any such vehicle to be insured for the public roads!
Also, if an accident occurred, who is apportioned blame?
This idea of “Driverless” cars is totally ridiculous