Ocado to test self-driving vans on London roads

Motorists could soon see driverless vans weaving in and out of London traffic after Ocado invested £10 million in tech startup Wayve.

Reuters reports the companies want to see if the vehicles, fitted with camera sensors, can handle the capital’s busy routes.

A human driver is said to be overseeing the tests.

Ocado head of advanced technology Alex Harvey said the investment meant its retail partners could use self-driving vans “at the earliest opportunity”.

READ MORE: Ocado moves north of the border with £80m Scottish hub

The supermarket will focus on driverless deliveries in the UK, before expanding internationally to customers like Kroger in the US and Casino in France.

Some of its delivery fleet will also be fitted with data collection devices to learn how human drivers navigate traffic, meaning Wayve can tweak its system.

The startup will also launch autonomous delivery vans with Asda in London early next year.

In April, Ocado invested £10 million into Oxford-based self-driving startup Oxbotica.

Speaking to the BBC, Harvey said that the retailer’s “end to end operation” would “ultimately” be free of any human supervision.

He continued: “From a customer’s perspective you open your door and outside you will see an autonomous van … pull up outside your house.

“Most likely an autonomous robot will get out of that autonomous vehicle, will collect your groceries, and hand them to you at the doorstep.”

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