“How do you start a revolution?”
Those are the words of Graeme Smith, SVP of Oxbotica, who launched a showcase event for the Driven project – a 30-month study that aimed to deliver SAE L4 driving on the streets of London and Oxford. Reflecting on a conversation he had with Oxbotica CTO and founder, Prof. Paul Newman several years ago, Graeme knew Oxbotica had technology that could help deliver a revolution in safe automated driving.
Thus, the idea of the Driven Project was born.
Graeme presented his project, supported by Innovate UK, at a showcase attended by our very own Nick Reed. The showcase was being held at the Lee Valley VeloPark, part of London’s Olympic Park.
During a series of presentations on the Driven Project, Graeme described the self-driving car as a shiny distraction that shouldn’t diminish a grander vision. This vision was to enhance all areas of life positively and sustainably through automation and robotics technologies.
After a range of presentations and an instructional video, Nick was able to experience a test drive in the vehicle itself. Inside their ride (a Ford Mondeo PHEV), they were greeted by a safety driver at the controls and a test operator monitoring readouts alongside. After several basic instructions, they steadily and smoothly began the drive. An additional screen in the rear of the vehicle gave an indication of what the vehicle was ‘seeing’ as it progressed along the route.
Has the Driven Project started a revolution?
This showcase was held in the VeloPark which hints at what is perhaps a more important technology for urban mobility. As AV systems emerge, it will be a key challenge for cities to address how they successfully co-exist and complement efficient travel using lower speed modes (walking, cycling, scooters etc.).
You can read Nick’s full article on his website.