Addison Lee and Oxbotica have teamed up to launch self-driving taxis in London by 2021.

UK-based private hire taxi firm Addison Lee and self-driving vehicle software provider Oxbotica will work together to develop, deploy and operate autonomous vehicles, with the aim of offering users self-driving services in the UK’s capital.

In order to speed up the implementation of autonomous vehicles on London’s streets, both firms have agreed to create detailed, digital maps of over 250,000 miles of public roads in and around the city.

These maps will be created in preparation for the deployment of autonomous cars and will include the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light.

Addison Lee Group CEO Andy Boland said: “Autonomous technology holds the key to many of the challenges we face in transport. By providing ride-sharing services, we can help address congestion, free space used for parking and improve urban air quality through zero-emission vehicles.”

“This represents a huge leap towards bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London.”

The two companies are looking to capture a larger slice of the growing car services market for connected autonomous vehicle technology, which is estimated to reach £28bn in the UK by 2035.

They will aim to provide reasonably priced, quality, ride-shared services to commuters currently underserved by existing driven transport modes, as well as exploring opportunities to offer corporate shuttles, airport and campus-based services.

After London, the new partnership plans to target New York and other international markets.

Oxbotica CEO Graeme Smith said: “This represents a huge leap towards bringing autonomous vehicles into mainstream use on the streets of London, and eventually in cities across the United Kingdom and beyond.”

Recently, Addison Lee Group established and headed the MERGE Greenwich consortium, a government-funded project investigating how autonomous ride-sharing services could be introduced to complement existing public transport services.

Oxbotica is leading the DRIVEN consortium and has already rolled out a fleet of cars currently travelling autonomously under public trials in London and Oxford.