Autonomous ride-sharing services could be used for a third of all trips by private drivers in London by 2025, according to new research by the MERGE Greenwich consortium.
The six partners in the consortium — Addison Lee Group, Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities and Immense Simulations — are investigating ways to integrate new technology into the city’s existing transport network. The consortium is backed by funding from innovation agency Innovate UK.
Experts predict that 34% of private drivers’ journeys could be replaced, and up to 30% of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by autonomous vehicle ride-sharing.
Overall, it’s thought that an autonomous ride-sharing service could serve up to one in seven of all trips in London within eight years, equivalent to 2.5 million trips per day, and take up to 25% of the total transport market by value — worth around £3.5bn at today’s rates.
The year-long MERGE Greenwich project includes:
– A plan on how autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing will integrate into public transport systems, focused on the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
– Advanced simulation and analysis to demonstrate how this integrated solution can benefit consumers, society and the environment.
– Ideas on how to improve the efficiency of the way we travel around cities and how to reduce total vehicle journeys and reduce emissions.
– Key requirements for a vehicle which will be optimal for an AV ride-sharing service.
– A review of customer barriers to adoption and design considerations to overcome them.
– A detailed commercial and business model to show how this service and AV technology can be brought to market.
Trevor Dorling, director of DG Cities, said: “With the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles, there is now an opportunity to redefine transport in our cities and towns. Offering modern, flexible and responsive mobility services that can be shared by the public is likely to reduce the cost to the consumer, reduce the number of journeys and vehicles on our roads — helping the environment and improving road safety. DG Cities looks forward to being a part of this project and sharing the key lessons learnt with other cities in the UK and overseas.”