Oxbotica, a global leader in autonomous vehicle software, has mastered driving on the right-hand side of the road on public roads after being granted automated vehicle (AV) permit recommendation by TÜV SÜD to conduct live trials in Germany. It is the first time a UK-based automated vehicle company has gained an AV permit recommendation from the independent inspection body TÜV SÜD to begin trials on public roads in urban and rural areas in southern Germany.
The official trials started last month on public roads near Friedrichshafen, with a fleet of vehicles successfully navigating a complex urban environment. To gain the AV permit recommendation, Oxbotica had to meet a rigorous assessment framework including detailed hazard analysis and the combination of physical real-world tests and scenario-based simulations.
Around two-thirds of the world’s population live in a country where cars drive on the right-hand side, including mainland Europe, the USA and China. These present different situational challenges and road markings to countries like the UK, Australia and Japan, which drive on the left.
Having completed numerous trials on the left-hand side of the road in the UK, including on the complex streets of London, the German AV permit means Oxbotica’s automated vehicle software has now proved itself capable of following the rules of the road and driving on the right in real-world conditions.
This validation testing brings Oxbotica another step closer towards the international commercial deployment of its autonomous software stack on urban and rural roads, and is a key milestone for the UK AV industry. The trials are helping Oxbotica to accelerate the development of its leading autonomous driving software.
Ozgur Tohumcu, CEO at Oxbotica, said: “The landmark TÜV SÜD AV permit recommendation in Germany allows us to test in one of the world’s leading automotive markets, helping accelerate future deployments both in the region and globally. Our ability to understand and adapt to the rules of the road for driving both on the left and right-hand side of the road provides a fast route to market for our autonomous vehicle software. It also paves the way to take our autonomous driving software internationally through the ongoing commercial engagements with our partners.”
Christian Pahlke, Head of Software & System at TÜV SÜD Highly Automated Driving, said: “The TÜV SÜD AV-permit provides a neutral and independent third party assessment process for the development of safe and secure automated mobility. Oxbotica’s automated driving software has proven itself capable of passing our demanding safety assessment framework, successfully completing physical real-world tests and scenario-based simulations.”
Nadhim Zahawi, Business & Industry Minister, said: “Ensuring that self-driving vehicles can master streets around the world, as well as here in the UK, is crucial in order to put the UK firmly in the driving seat of advances in autonomous technology. By testing these vehicles’ ability to drive on both sides of the road, Oxbotica’s public trials are opening the door to international markets and making sure that UK industry is at the forefront of innovation as we build back better from the pandemic.”
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