Oxbotica wins Frost & Sullivan technology award

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A UK technology company with a focus on mobile robotics and driverless vehicles has won a prestigious international award for its class-leading autonomous vehicle software.

Oxbotica, which is a spin-off from Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group, has been presented with Frost & Sullivan’s Technology Leadership Award for Autonomous Driving Software. The company was recognized by the California-based industry analysts for having a “successful track-record” in the commercialization of its intellectual property (IP) in its work with autonomous vehicles, and was highly praised for tapping into the ‘unlimited potential’ of robotics and autonomous systems.

The company was founded by two Oxford University professors, Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner, and is led by chief executive, Dr Graeme Smith, an automotive veteran with substantial startup experience in connected and autonomous vehicles. Oxbotica works with autonomous pods, mining and agricultural equipment, boats, trains, and robots for hazardous environments, such as nuclear plants. The company has over 70 modular pieces of mobile autonomy related IP, which range from patents, to software, to ‘know how’ that can be integrated into customers’ products and applications to enable end-to-end autonomy solutions. Oxbotica recently announced it had partnered with global insurance giant XL Catlin in order to come up with ways of dealing with the risks associated with these kinds of ‘bleeding edge’ technologies.

The technology available in Oxbotica’s IP portfolio underpins the Oxford RobotCar, the UK’s first autonomous car approved for public trials, and lies at the heart of the LUTZ Pathfinder project, currently bringing autonomous pods to the pavements of Milton Keynes. The company’s technology drives the majority of the winning bids of the UK’s Driverless Car Challenge. Oxbotica has deployed its Selenium autonomy system in the eight shuttle vehicles in Greenwich, London, as part of the GATEway project, which will enable the public demonstrations of these autonomous shuttles for a six-month operational trial, starting in the next few weeks.

Frost and Sullivan’s team leader for chassis, safety and autonomous driving systems, Arunprasad Nandakumar, said, “With strong technological capabilities and a successful track record in IP commercialization and technology transfer across diverse markets, such as three dimensional (3-D) mapping, autonomous vehicles, warehouse robots, and the Mars rovers, Oxbotica is tapping into the unlimited potential of robotics and autonomous systems.”

Oxbotica CEO, Smith, commented, “Our work is unique because we work with companies who make the likes of cars, forklift trucks and public transport vehicles and help them integrate robotics software into their own products. We are fully independent and we work freely with many different engineers and scientists to accelerate our technology to market and to turn driverless vehicles into reality. This is an exciting area of growth in the UK and we have been working hard with our business partners to make the technology of the future available sooner.”

Paul Jardine, chief experience officer at XL Catlin, noted, “Our partnership will allow us to assess and insure the technology of the future. We are delighted that Oxbotica has been recognized for its important work in this field.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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