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Oxbotica to develop multi-purpose self-driving vehicle with AppliedEV

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·1 min read
A passenger vehicle is seen traveling autonomously using Oxbotica software during a trial on public roads in Oxford
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(Corrects 6th paragraph to say Telstra Corp, not Telsa Inc)

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) -Self-driving software startup Oxbotica said on Wednesday it has teamed up AppliedEV to develop a fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle that could be suitable for a variety of commercial uses.

The first deployments of the self-driving electric vehicles (EVs) will be in industrial logistics and automated goods delivery.

"We have an ambitious deployment goal over the coming years, driven by an extraordinary market appetite for a world-class product," Oxbotica founder Paul Newman said in a statement.

In April, British online grocer Ocado said it would invest 10 million pounds ($13.8 million) in Oxbotica as part of a tie-up that aims to reduce the cost of last-mile delivery and other logistics.

"We are really excited and supportive of this collaboration between Oxbotica and AppliedEV as we see it as an important step on our journey to developing advanced autonomous mobility solutions for the Ocado Smart Platform," said Alex Harvey, head of advanced technology at Ocado Technology.

AppliedEV, an autonomous EV maker founded by former Telstra Corporation and General Motors Co executives, will provide the EV platform for the vehicle.

AppliedEV Chief Executive Julian Broadbent said the partnership could bring "strong commercial outcomes" in as little as 12 months.

In January, Oxbotica said it had raised $47 million in a funding round led by the venture arm of oil giant BP and which included health and safety device maker Halma Plc and Tencent.

($1 = 0.7255 pounds)

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)