Oxbotica develops autonomous car software
Oxbotica, a start-up company from the University of Oxford, developed a new software that will enable regular cars to go driverless. The system is named Selenium and will be able to ingest data from visual cameras, laser scanners or radar systems. Paul Newman, a professor at the university and co-founder of Oxbotica, said, "It takes any vehicle and makes it into an autonomous one."
Oxbotica - The Technology Start-Up
Oxbotica is the brainchild of Professor Ingmar Posner and Professor Paul Newman-leaders of Oxford University's Mobile Robotics Group (MRG). Incorporated in 2014, Oxbotica was singled-out by the Wall Street Journal as being amongst the top ten EMEA technology start-ups in 2015. The Mobile Robotics Group enjoys a positive reputation in the field of innovation as well as industrial collaborations.
Highlights of the autonomous control system
Selenium functions in pedestrianised environments plus roads and motorways. It is not GPS-dependent. Settings can be changed easily between indoor, outdoor, over-ground or underground. On-the-fly sensor readings are compared with readings stored from previous journeys. "If you take it out in the snow and it's not seen it before, it keeps the ideas of snowy-ness around for the next time," Newman explains.
Utility of the software
The Oxbotica team expects the software to be used to control vehicles like warehouse robots, forklifts and public transport vehicles along with autonomous cars.
How does Oxbotica work?
Oxbotica's software receives data with regards to vehicle routes and learns to react to it after analysing the actions of the human driver. Two primary functions are taken care of by the software - identifying its surroundings and perceiving them. The central planner determines the movement of the car based on these two feeds. Localisation and perception systems rely on sensors around the car.
The software of Oxbotica will be tested in two real-world settings - in the GATEway project, Greenwhich, London, which will have self-driving public transport vehicles and the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pods being tested in Milton Keynes, U.K.