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One in Three London Car Journeys Could Be in an Autonomous Vehicle By 2025

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• A third of private vehicle journeys could be made with new technology, forecasts Addison Lee-led MERGE Greenwich consortium

• Research indicates that one in seven of London's overall journeys, by any form of transport, could be made by autonomous ride-sharing within eight years • Consortium wins Innovate UK funding to develop plans for London pilot where Autonomous Vehicles integrate with public transport

LONDON - October 12, 2017: Autonomous ride-sharing services could account for a third of all trips by private drivers in London by 2025, according to a consortium investigating ways to integrate new technology into the city's public transport network.

Experts predict that 34 per cent of private drivers' journeys could be replaced, while up to 30 per cent of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by Autonomous Vehicle (AV) ride-sharing.

The figures - extrapolated from studies carried out in Los Angeles and Boston, together with the London Travel Demand Survey - are contained in initial research from the MERGE Greenwich consortium, a group of six partners undertaking a year-long project to study how autonomous vehicle ride-sharing can work and connect with London's transport network.

The consortium is backed by funding from Innovate UK - an agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Overall, an AV ride-sharing service could serve up to one in seven of all trips within London within eight years, equivalent to 2.5m trips per day, and take up to 25 per cent of the total transport market by value - worth around £3.5bn at today's rates.

"The idea that one-in-three London car journeys could be replaced by autonomous vehicles by 2025 shows the huge potential in the sector," said Andy Boland, Addison Lee's CEO.

The MERGE Greenwich consortium is led by Addison Lee Group and involves mobility experts Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities and Immense Simulations.

Paul McCabe, Addison Lee Group's Director of Mobility, said: "With some of the brightest British automotive and ground transport brains involved, the MERGE Greenwich partnership will pave the way for autonomous vehicles on the streets of London at scale, to provide significantly improved transport.

"This will put London at the forefront of mobility development, globally."

It comes as an exciting future of autonomous cars on British roads moves a step closer with the Addison Lee-led MERGE Greenwich consortium securing funding from the Government's national innovation agency to help take the country to the forefront of mobility innovation.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also put the need to reduce the number of cars on the capital's roads at the heart of his transport strategy.

So, what exactly will the project deliver?

  • 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.

Working from the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London, the project will develop a future business and operating model to integrate AVs, ride-sharing and existing transport into truly multi-modal transport system. From this, the next stage could be conducting real-world testing to see how AV ride-sharing services could contribute to and enhance the new mobility vision for London.

Trevor Dorling, Director of DG Cities explained: "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."

Innovate UK's Chief Executive Ruth McKernan added: "Successful industry-led R&D projects will further spearhead UK development of low emission, and connected and autonomous vehicle technology. This builds on our world-leading research and innovation capability in this area and the significant strength of UK businesses both large and small in this field."

The consortium partners bring a crucial and complementary set of assets and knowledge to the MERGE Greenwich programme:

  • Addison Lee Group provides real world commercial knowledge of operating a large fleet on a global scale, which enables the MERGE Greenwich project to accelerate the validation of the AV ride-sharing model beyond any previous project.
  • Ford brings expertise to develop vehicle requirements fit for purpose in an AV ride-sharing model and DG Cities will ensure that the AV model is compatible with the Borough's needs and objectives, and will explore how services can be integrated with the city and existing public transport.
  • The operating model, vehicle requirements and city-integration know-how will be combined with the extensive simulation and modelling capability of Immense Simulations, TRL and Transport Systems Catapult.
  • MERGE Greenwich will develop a world first, custom-designed blueprint which showcases the UK's cutting edge mobility capability.

Anticipated uptake of Autonomous vehicle ride-sharing[1] 

                          Estimated AV           Forecast AV       Potential value of
                        ride-share Market   ride-share trips per    the AV ride-share
    Year 2024/25       penetration (2025)        day (2025)           market (2025)

    Underground/ DLR                     5%               109,646        GBP116,060,694
    Bus/tram                             5%               159,796         GBP87,488,571
    Taxi/ Other                         30%               100,856        GBP865,094,976
    Car driver                          34%             1,369,603      GBP1,895,591,907
    Car passenger                       34%               771,004        GBP559,352,079
    Motorcycle                           5%                 3,234          GBP3,134,520
    Cycle                              0.5%                 3,904          GBP1,002,384
    Walk                               0.5%                29,580          GBP1,483,054
    TOTAL                               14%             2,547,623      GBP3,529,208,186

About MERGE Greenwich  

MERGE Greenwich is a project to investigate how to improve the way we travel around cities, reduce total vehicle journeys and reduce emissions, using new and future developments in electric and autonomous vehicles.  The project will focus on the social, commercial and infrastructure challenge of autonomous vehicles, and will consider safety, ride-sharing, security, accessibility and environmental factors of an autonomous ground transport service.  The MERGE Greenwich consortium will simulate the way the Royal Borough of Greenwich moves today and how it could move with an autonomous ride-share system which is integrated with public transport. Consumer and city-level research will also be carried out in order to understand how this new mobility system could be applied to the real world. The resulting report will provide a blueprint for an optimal operating model, to give the UK a first-to-market global advantage in next generation ground transportation systems.

The 12-month project will be delivered by a consortium led by Addison Lee Group, and will use the London Borough of Greenwich to model, test and assess options.  The consortium's membership comprises of:

  • Addison Lee Group: apply booking, allocation and dispatch technology to pair ride-sharing journeys in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and coordinate with the broader transport network.
  • Ford: developing electric and autonomous vehicle requirements and feasibility.
  • DG Cities: brings experience of developing strategic and scalable smart city innovation initiatives. They will lead on work to ensure that the business model is compatible with the needs of the Borough.
  • TRL: will utilise significant experience from the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London to help analyse and develop the business case for autonomous ride-sharing.
  • Transport Systems Catapult: bringing existing data and modelling expertise relating to ride-sharing and AVs.
  • Immense Simulations: Enabling the consortium to assess the commercial viability of alternate strategic AV deployment scenarios by using large scale, agent based simulations driven by Immense's unique mobility insight prediction tools.

About Innovate UK 

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Our aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity. 

1. Data extrapolated from TfL London Travel Demand Survey and from Chen, TD & Kockelman KM (2016), Management of a Shared, Autonomous, Electric Vehicle Fleet: Implications of Pricing Schemes, University of Texas at Austin

SOURCE Addison Lee