Project Endeavour, a government-backed autonomous vehicle (AV) project in the UK, has unveiled plans to start public trials of its autonomous vehicle fleet in Oxford this week.

The autonomous car fleet will feature six Ford Mondeo vehicles, and will be equipped with Oxbotica’s Level 4 autonomous driving software.

As part of trials, the cars will complete a nine-mile round trip from Oxford Parkway station to Oxford’s main train station.

Trials will be carried out during the day as well in the nights so that Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicles traverse a range of traffic scenarios and weather conditions.

The trials will run until autumn next year across three major cities in the country.

Launched last September, Project Endeavour is partly funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

The project is part of the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund, supporting the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge.

TRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Transport Research Foundation (TRF), also joined the consortium, which is delivering the automated vehicle research project Endeavour.

TRL will be part of a consortium that also includes Oxbotica, DG Cities, Immense, BSI and Oxfordshire County Council.

TRL Automation head Camilla Fowler said: “Trials of Level 4 vehicles are an important milestone, keeping the UK at the head of the field in bringing the benefits of this technology into mainstream use.

“These exciting trials, and what we learn about assuring safety and encouraging interoperability will open up new opportunities for many more research demonstrations across the UK, which are the forerunners to the full-scale public trials so eagerly awaited.”