Addison Lee and Oxbotica have started to map Canary Wharf for autonomous vehicle services.
The 3D street mapping exercise will create the backdrop for new services and is a significant milestone in the roll out of Addison Lee’s autonomous services by 2021.
The companies, together with Canary Wharf Group and insurer AXA XL, are using a vehicle equipped with mapping technology to record every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light in Canary Wharf’s 128-acre estate.
This is the first stage of a mapping exercise across London, where more than 250,000 miles of public roads will be mapped in order to better understand the requirements for rolling out a fully autonomous service.
Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee Group, said: “With its’ campus-style arrangement and high number of commuters, Canary Wharf is the perfect place to begin our mapping of London with Oxbotica and a possible location for new Addison Lee Group services.”
The mapping technology on the car includes radars that help Oxbotica understand the environment, cameras to take images of the streets and lidar sensors that send out laser pulses to sense the surroundings.
This will enable Oxbotica to build a 3D map of the area, which is then analysed to identify important features such as traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and road markings.
The company will repeat this process many times, and at different times, improving the understanding of how the streets change in different lighting conditions, weather and seasons of the year.
When the autonomous vehicle travels down these same streets, it builds the same picture and matches it to the map, using the knowledge about traffic light location and lane markings to help localise itself and be aware of what’s around the next corner.