Driverless technology leader Oxbotica strikes $47 million deal

Driverless technology

The investment demonstrates the commercial viability of autonomy software platform developed with the support of UKRI and marks the company as a global leader.

Global leader in driverless vehicle software Oxbotica has won a $47 million investment from partners across the world.

The investment round means the company is now well placed to grow and commercialise its autonomy platform in key global markets.

Investors came from key areas including:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Australia
  • China.

Among the investors were:

  • bp ventures
  • BGF
  • Halma
  • HostPlus
  • IP Group
  • Tencent
  • Venture Science.

Highly flexible platform

Oxbotica was founded in 2014 by Oxford University professors Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner to develop autonomy software that works with any vehicle, any time and in any place.

It has developed a highly flexible autonomy platform that can be used in a wide range of on and off-road vehicles by operators, integrators, and manufacturers.

In 2016 Oxbotica became the first company to test a self-driving vehicle in public in the UK.

It aims to market its platform to industrial users before rolling it out later to urban passenger vehicles.

Continuing to accelerate

Chief Technology Officer Paul Newman said:

We have a vision, we have the technology, we have the team, we see the markets and we have the customers.

Adding these high-quality investors to this mix, means we can continue to accelerate Oxbotica, and change the way bits (software) move atoms (people and goods).

Trials won funding

Oxbotica and its partners have won a series of awards from UK Research and Innovation and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

Recent funding included:

  • £8.6 million for DRIVEN, a project to trial six autonomous vehicles driven by Oxbotica’s software on the roads of London and Oxford
  • £11.6 million for Project Endeavour – an initiative that will, for the first time, demonstrate the deployment of self-driving vehicles into multiple cities around the UK.

Funding has come through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. One of its aims is to make the UK a world leader in driverless vehicle technology.

Huge opportunities

Paul Gadd, Innovate UK deputy director of land transport, manufacturing and materials, said:

There are huge opportunities for UK businesses arising out of changes in the way we will move around in future years.

These include opportunities offered by the switch to electric and other zero emission forms of propulsion and by new ways to make transport safer through connectivity and autonomy.

It’s good to see Oxbotica paving the way. Support from CCAV and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is helping them and other pioneering UK businesses to target significant global markets and boost UK growth.

Top image:  Oxbotica © Malcolm Griffiths

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