One in three London car journeys could be replaced by Autonomous Vehicles by 2025

  • A third of private vehicle journeys could be made with new technology, forecasts Addison Lee-led MERGE Greenwich consortium
  • Research indicates that one in seven of London’s overall journeys, by any form of transport, could be made by autonomous ride-sharing within eight years
  • Consortium wins Innovate UK funding to develop plans for London pilot where Autonomous Vehicles integrate with public transport

Autonomous ride-sharing services could account for a third of all trips by private drivers in London by 2025, according to a consortium investigating ways to integrate new technology into the city’s public transport network.

Experts predict that 34 per cent of private drivers’ journeys could be replaced, while up to 30 per cent of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by Autonomous Vehicle (AV) ride-sharing.

The figures – extrapolated from studies carried out in Los Angeles and Boston, together with the London Travel Demand Survey – are contained in initial research from the MERGE Greenwich consortium, a group of six partners undertaking a year-long project to study how autonomous vehicle ride-sharing can work and connect with London’s transport network.

The consortium is backed by funding from Innovate UK – an agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Overall, an AV ride-sharing service could serve up to one in seven of all trips within London within eight years, equivalent to 2.5m trips per day, and take up to 25 per cent of the total transport market by value – worth around £3.5bn at today’s rates.

“The idea that one-in-three London car journeys could be replaced by autonomous vehicles by 2025 shows the huge potential in the sector,” said Andy Boland, Addison Lee’s CEO.

The MERGE Greenwich consortium is led by Addison Lee Group and involves mobility experts Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities and Immense Simulations.

Paul McCabe, Addison Lee Group’s Director of Mobility, said: “With some of the brightest British automotive and ground transport brains involved, the MERGE Greenwich partnership will pave the way for autonomous vehicles on the streets of London at scale, to provide significantly improved transport.

“This will put London at the forefront of mobility development, globally.”

It comes as an exciting future of autonomous cars on British roads moves a step closer with the Addison Lee-led MERGE Greenwich consortium securing funding from the Government’s national innovation agency to help take the country to the forefront of mobility innovation.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also put the need to reduce the number of cars on the capital’s roads at the heart of his transport strategy.

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