Oxbotica launches ground-breaking autonomous vehicle software


A spin-off from Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group has launched its new autonomous vehicle software system with a demonstration of its capabilities in a purpose built concept car at Culham Science Center in the UK.

Award-winning Oxford-based technology company Oxbotica has released its new Selenium mobile autonomy software system, which can work in pedestrianized environments as well as roads and motorways, and is not reliant on GPS to operate, meaning it can easily transition between indoor and outdoor settings, over ground or underground.

The system has been developed to be ‘vehicle agnostic’, allowing it to be applied to cars, self-driving pods for campuses and airports, and warehouse truck fleets. The software was developed in the UK by Oxbotica’s team of leading scientists, mathematicians and engineers, and is able to provide any vehicle it is applied to with an awareness of where it is, what surrounds it and, with that knowledge in hand, how it should move to complete a task.

Selenium’s system uses patented algorithms that give vehicles a next-generation level of intelligence to autonomously perform a range of mobility tasks, including motion control, braking, calibration, navigation, static and dynamic obstacle detection. To showcase the software’s capabilities, Oxbotica commissioned a purpose-built vehicle called Geni. Selenium is set to be deployed at a series of autonomous vehicle trials where Oxbotica is the sole supplier of autonomy software, including the £8m (US$10.6m) GATEway project in Greenwich, and the LUTZ Pathfinder self-driving pod project in Milton Keynes. The company is also working with manufacturers in a broad spectrum of mobile autonomy domains, including driverless cars.

Oxbotica works with autonomous pods, mining equipment, agricultural equipment, boats, trains, and robots that can work in hazardous environments, such as nuclear plants. The company works with a wide variety of companies such as those that supply systems to the motor industry as well as vehicle makers themselves. Oxbotica has over 70 modular pieces of mobile autonomy related IP (Intellectual Property), which range from patents to software and ‘know how’ that can be integrated into customers’ products and applications to enable end-to-end autonomy solutions.

Commenting on Selenium’s launch, Dr Graeme Smith, Oxbotica’s chief executive, said, “Autonomous vehicles are the future and our new software is leading the field. Selenium represents the culmination of about 130 person years’ worth of work in mobile autonomy. Selenium is an important chapter in the ever-changing story of autonomous vehicles. As a result of the team’s hard work on Selenium, our customers are able to take full advantage of the benefits on offer from this futuristic technology today, rather than tomorrow.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).