First Street Trial for Self-Driving Cars to Commence in London


FiveAi, a UK based autonomous car making company will now do a street trial of their cars in London this year. / Photo by: Silver Blue via Flickr


UK-based startup tech company FiveAI has announced its plan to conduct its first street trial after successfully completing its autonomous car technology. The trial will commence in late 2019 and run for 10 months.

In the trial, the company will launch five smart cars in the towns of Bromley and Croydon in London. The vehicles will have human drivers inside and will collect data regarding road conditions, pedestrian movements, and other information that can improve the self-driving platform.

One of the main goals of the company is to address a major problem in London: severe road congestion. While several projects have been implemented to solve it, the issue still affects the public.

“There are a lot of problems to solve there, but they are very well served by current providers. But in Zones 4 to 6 [the outer boroughs of London], about one-quarter of people are still driving their own vehicles to and from work,” said Ben Peters, vice president of product at FiveAI and a co-founder of the company, as quoted by Tech Crunch.

The company’s website reveals that the team is working with experts and regulators to provide a shared mobility service. In addition to reducing traffic congestion, the smart car platform is designed to decrease the level of air pollution in the city.

Compared to other self-driving technologies, the platform operates in specific conditions, such as roads and road rules, geographies, and weather and lighting. This kind of operation pertains to the Operational Design Domain, which means the vehicle operates better in a particular condition. 

If the vehicle encounters a different condition, the platform automatically suspends operation to avoid endangering the passengers and pedestrians. But in the meantime, the developers need to acquire more data before they can start expanding the number of conditions accommodated by the platform.