A UK private hire firm could enter the race to get driverless minicabs onto the road, it has been revealed.
London-based Addison Lee, which has been operating since 1975 and has a fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles, says it is holding talks with a car manufacturer with a view to testing self-driving cars.
The news comes after a taxi-hailing app company announced it will be testing the technology on the streets of Pittsburgh in the US.
Speaking to the Press Association, Addison Lee's chief executive, Andy Boland, says although it is still early days as far as getting the technology into everyday use is concerned, it had decided that the time was right to be "dipping our toe in the water".
He says the move to look at driverless cars forms part of its plans to invest £12 million on developing new technology this year. Money is also being spent on developing its website, app and telephone service.
Mr Boland adds that although the firm is also investigating the viability of electric cars, the infrastructure to support those vehicles needs to be developed further.
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