Oxford street cleaner creating 3D maps for driverless cars

media captionSensors have been attached to an Oxford City Council street cleaner

A 3D street mapping project has been launched in Oxford to pave the way for driverless vehicles.

Sensors have been attached to a street cleaning vehicle in the city centre to create digital maps.

It is also intended to collect data on air quality, litter, parked vehicles, broken streetlights, and heat loss from buildings.

It is a collaboration between Oxford City Council and Oxford University's Robotics Institute (ORI).

Oxfordshire-based private firm Oxbotica has tested a prototype autonomous shuttle in London and could make use of the 3D mapping technology in the future.

image source, OCC
image captionThe 3D sensors could also be fitted on to rubbish collection vehicles

The company said it hoped to carry out trials in Oxford later this year.

Smart Oxford is a range of city organisations, including the council and university, which work together to develop and promote new technologies in the city.

Sebastian Johnson, vice chair of the Smart Oxford board and project manager at Oxford City Council, said it was hoping to roll the project out across the city.

He said: "We are exploring how the city council's fleet of street cleaners and refuse collection vehicles can be fitted with sensors, developed by the ORI, to map the city.

"At the same time we are looking to gather information and data that can help us improve the way we run the city as an efficient and effective council."

media captionWATCH: The driverless shuttle bus in action

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