Whilst pedestrian-serving, traffic-avoiding robots are fast becoming the norm in places like California in humble Britain we are thought to be slightly behind with the times, especially when it comes to driverless-car technology. However, it does appear that this is set to change, with Oxford University spinoff, Oxbotica, introducing some pretty sophisticated tech into the market.

Not focusing too much on the car itself but rather the brain that navigates it the students have named the technology Selenium, allowing them to create a fully-independent, self-driving smart car. Making the software that powers the entire system the tech processes data and learns from its mistakes, adding a human element to the world-wide race for complete autonomous travel.

Compared to Google’s forward-thinking methods in this very infant market Oxbotica feel there is room many techies to get involved.

Professor Newman says the group’s  ambition is to have its technology used in “all things that move”.

“We love those guys [Google], because they made the market possible,” he says. “They introduced this brilliantly into the public’s conception of what’s coming in the future.

“But first to the market does not equal first for all time. We’re talking about all things that move for all time. There’s not going to be one guy that does that for all time.”

He adds: “People say to us, ‘why would you do this if Google is out there? That’s like saying to Dell, why would you make computers when there’s IBM?’.”

Professor Newman envisages cars, taxis, driverless pods as well as forklifts as “applications”; applying their technology to streamline the world of transportation for the better.


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