London Cabs May Be Completely Autonomous By 2021

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The streets of London are about to get a lot more efficient.

Autonomous cars seem to be all that's on anyone's mind right now with various automakers teaming up with tech companies to produce a self-driving vehicle. Some automakers are targeting self-driving cars for individual consumers to own, while others see a better use for autonomous vehicles.

Two such companies in the UK, Addison Lee, and Oxbotica have just agreed to a "wide-ranging strategic alliance that accelerates the implementation of autonomous vehicles to London's streets."

So if you hop in a London taxi early in the next decade, it may not have a driver.

Addison Lee is a transportation company, which currently operates around 5,000 cars in London. The company has also tested its own autonomous test vehicles, including the Ford Mondeo (Fusion). Oxbotica also works on autonomous vehicles and self-driving software. The two companies will be collaborating on the development and deployment of self-driving taxis in London, with the goal of having working vehicles on the roads by 2021.

Together, the two companies will be creating digital maps of over 250,000 miles of roads in and around London. These maps will be extremely detailed and record the "position of every curb, road sign, landmark and traffic light."

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London is one of the most congested cities in the world, with large amounts of traffic and pollution. The UK will eventually place a ban on gas and diesel cars by 2040 but the city of London may attempt a trial ban much sooner to deal with the pollution problem. A fleet of self-driving electric vehicles could be just what London needs to help solve its traffic and pollution issues.

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