This Start-Up Wants To Use CCTV Footage To Develop Self-Driving Car Technology

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Autonomous tech start-ups have offered a number of ways—all of which they believe to be the most appropriate and correct—to approach the development of self-driving cars. A new company out of the United Kingdom, FiveAI, has a fresh take, though: CCTV cameras.

The company has raised about $31 million, and it’s hoping to deploy autonomous cars on the streets of London by 2019, according to Wired UK. Like most developers in the field, FiveAI is going to use LiDAR and other sensors to make their cars function appropriately, but it has to figure out how to handle a similar issue that makes perfecting the technology difficult: what to do with big, dumb humans.


“There’s a big difference in human behavior and the human behaviors in one city vary to the next city,” Stan Boland, FiveAI’s CEO, told Wired.

So, Boland and his firm want to lean on London’s existing, insanely expansive CCTV camera system.

Here’s more from Wired:

“A lot of London, for example, does have CCTV camera footage which we can use”. By transforming CCTV footage to a birds-eye view, using computer simulations, Boland says it will be possible to build models of what happens at street junctions.


The self-driving car race is going to be a heated bloodbath that’s going to cost billions in failed investments, and who knows where FiveAi is going to come out in the end. It’s still early! But relying on an endless stream of CCTV footage is novel, so FiveAI at least has that going for it.