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28/11/2019 - North London

Driverless cars to hit London streets in new trial

A Cambridge start-up has announced that a fleet of driverless cars will hit the capital’s roads.

A trial of eight autonomous Jaguar I-Pace SUVs will take to streets across Zones 1–3 in London to improve their learning process.

The news follows FiveAI’s autonomous taxi trials, which began in October and are set to run until the end of the year.

FiveAI’s adapted Ford Mondeos have been carrying passengers across the London Boroughs of Bromley and Croydon, driving autonomously under the supervision of trained drivers.

Wayve’s trial will utilise vehicles fitted with inconspicuous roof mounted cameras, making them harder to recognise than their rival’s autonomous vehicles, which use sensors placed across the body of the car.

Wayve’s cameras work with a 2D map and their “unique, end-to-end, deep learning driving brain” to replicate a human approach to driving.

“Reinforcement learning” uses a machine learning algorithm in order to avoid repeating previously made mistakes. This should allow the cars to navigate any road in the world, even taking local laws into account.

In previous trials, the tech company claim their artificial intelligence learned to drive around a corner while staying inside its own lane within “15 to 20 minutes” of first taking to the roads.

Wayve co-founder and chief executive, Amar Shah, said: “As computational power and data continue to grow, learning-based approaches will become more inevitable, especially for mobile robotics.

“The human brain has evolved over millions of years, computers have only had a few decades, but are catching up quickly.”

The technology firm was originally set up in Cambridge but moved to London to “access to an extraordinary talent pool and numerous complex testing environments.”