Autonomous software firm Oxbotica has announced it has signed a memo of understanding with tech solutions company ZF, to bring their software and hardware solutions together. The aim of the collaboration is to create an integrated self-driving system that can be used across different sectors with multiple applications.
Refreshingly, the announcement has some weight behind it and isn’t a vapourware announcement. Not only does Oxbotica – an Oxford University spin-off – have considerable success to date with an autonomous grocery delivery vehicles, self-driving taxis and driverless shuttles in London and Oxford but ZF supplies to a number of the world’s largest vehicle OEMs.
Perhaps even more impressively, Oxbotica has integrated ZF’s ProAI, an AI capable automotive-grade platform, and ZF’s Full-Range Radar into Oxbotica’s test vehicles; these operate on public roads in and around Oxford.
As part of the collaboration agreement, both companies will work closely together on validation and verification of integrated self-driving vehicle systems.
Global opportunities in the self-driving market
Given the companies that ZF is connected with across the globe, and Oxbotica’s software being used across different applications, there is a considerable opportunity in this alliance.
“Working with ZF is a key milestone in Oxbotica’s journey to bring our vision around Universal Autonomy to life,” said Ozgur Tohumcu, Oxbotica CEO. “Our integrated autonomy stack is already running on vehicles on public roads in Oxford, UK. However, this concrete achievement is just the first step in a wider collaboration towards jointly developing and deploying world-class self-driving systems.”
“We are delighted Oxbotica has successfully demonstrated its autonomous driving software working with ZF’s ProAI hardware,” said Torsten Gollewski, EVP Autonomous Mobility Systems at ZF. “We both share the same vision around how autonomy will transform entire industries across the globe.”
A year of growth
The news rounds out a considerable 18 months for Oxbotica which saw it complete a £14 million funding round in September 2018 and announce a strategic partnership with Addison Lee to collaborate on the deployment of autonomous vehicle services.
In May, Oxbotica announced Ozgur Tohumcu as the new CEO, replacing Dr. Graeme Smith. Tohumcu joined from Tantalum, the connected car services and payments provider. At Tantalum he drove the deployment of Tantalum’s connected car software as a service (SaaS) platform, launching services across the US with tier-one automotive and telco customers.
In the summer, Navtech Radar and Oxbotica, joined forces to deliver a radar-based smart sensing solution for autonomous vehicle operation in any environment and under any conditions.