One in three London car trips could be in autonomous vehicle by 2025
Autonomous ride-sharing services could account for one-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% of private drivers' journeys could be replaced, while up to 30% of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by autonomous vehicle (AV) ride-sharing.
The figures—extrapolated from studies conducted in Los Angeles and Boston, and 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 MERGE Greenwich consortium is led by Addison Lee Group and involves mobility experts Ford, TRL, Transport Systems Catapult, DG Cities, and Immense Simulations. The consortium is backed by funding from Innovate UK—an agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. (For more information about the consortium, go to https://mergegreenwich.com/.)
Overall, an AV ride-sharing service could serve up to one in seven of all trips within 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 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 project plans to 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 lower emissions;
- Key requirements for a vehicle that will be optimal for an AV ride-sharing service;
- A review of customer barriers to adoption and design considerations to overcome them; and
- 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 aims to develop a future business and operating model to integrate AVs, ride-sharing, and existing transport into a 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.