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Building an autonomous future

Matt Denby is Client Director to Transport for London for O2. With years of experience in the industry, he is helping bring our expertise and knowledge to the new frontier of transportation: autonomous vehicles. 

The DRIVEN consortium, which O2 is part of, has unveiled the first of the Level 4 self-driving cars that will be tested on the streets of Oxford next year and on journeys to and from London in 2019. A Level 4 classification means the vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip.

The DRIVEN project aims to deliver autonomous vehicles with the ability to drive on urban roads and motorways. These cars have autonomy software, lidar sensors (Light Detection and Ranging sensors, measuring distances), onboard computers and cameras.

 

At O2 we are motivated by innovation. Continual exposure to new technologies and emerging markets will only help us serve our customers better.

Nobody knows what the future will have in store, and how to prepare and how to prepare for it; there are lots of unknowns. For example, local authorities are looking to us to help define their future digital needs – how we’ll provide them with the tools to cope with the demands of a modern constituency and how smart travel will fit into the infrastructure.

By collaborating on government-backed projects like DRIVEN, we are ensuring we are preparing and understanding the challenges of autonomous vehicles: such as infrastructure, and telemetry, the transmission of data, and cybersecurity.

Urban trials of our DRIVEN cars will begin in the first quarter of next year in and around the Oxford area. The project’s end goal is to run several end-to-end vehicle journeys between London and Oxford. And from there? We can’t say, but it’s sure to be a wild ride.