London cabbies will soon be taking to the capital’s streets with state-of-the-art data-logging systems, creating a dynamic and high-definition virtual map for future autonomous vehicles.
The announcement comes following a series of agreements between tech and ride-hailing companies as well as government authorities, and will see around 500 black cabs in London kitted out with mapping equipment.
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By using cutting-edge advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) fitted to London taxis, a network of “high-definition crowdsourced maps” will be created, detailing streets and key infrastructure in the capital for autonomous cars to use, while also helping London itself become ‘autonomous ready’.
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The mapping hardware and software, developed by Intel-owned tech company Mobileye, is to be fitted to London cabs by ride-hailing company Gett.
It can be installed in any vehicle and comprises a single windscreen-mounted camera, together with a processing system. As well as building up a dynamic data picture of city streets, the company’s equipment could bring extra safety features, thanks to its collision prevention features.
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The project, due to start in early 2019, will also see Uber drivers in New York and cabbies in Düsseldorf help shape the self-driving future while, in the US, up to 2,000 trucks are expected to be kitted out with the necessary equipment.