London cab company Addison Lee is to lead a government-backed effort into driverless car research, launching a UK firm into a field dominated by US tech companies.

Addison Lee will lead a consortium including Ford, which has its own autonomous vehicle programme, to explore the potential for unmanned vehicles and ride-sharing services in London.

The Merge Greenwich project, backed by funding from the government's Innovate UK, estimates up to a third of London car journeys could be replaced by self-driving vehicles by 2025, taking up 25 per cent of the city's transport market, worth £3.5bn.

Google has said it plans to make its cars available to the public in 2020

Believed by many industry experts to be the closest to bringing a fully autonomous car to market.

“Time and space will become the luxury goods of the future ,” lead engineer Ralf Herrtwich told Robotics & Automation News in April 2016

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