Oxford Robotics Institute trials take place in Iceland

The Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) recently conducted trials in Iceland as part of research into mobile robotics (aka driverless cars). ORI is a research institute within the Department of Engineering Science which researches all aspects of land-based mobile autonomy.

ORI partnered with Arctic Trucks, an Icelandic company that specialises in the re-engineering and conversion of four-wheel drive vehicles for extreme conditions. Once the ORI team had mounted radar, vision and Lidar sensors on the roof of a bespoke Toyota Hilux, Arctic Trucks drove it in a variety of terrain that epitomises the “off-road domain” - glaciers, giant rivers, and volcanoes - to gather datasets in challenging environmental conditions (see video below).  Of particular interest is the role of a new generation of sensors from NavTech Radar ltd. These units are designed to be immune to the effects of snow, rain, lighting etc which have impeded conventional computer vision and Lidar.

Professor Newman, director of ORI, says, “The ORI must do awkward and hard things, taking robots and vehicles to tricky places, doing tricky things. There is much to be done in having machines understand their surroundings in remarkable weather and harsh terrain with the next generation of machine vision and perception sensors. Working with Arctic Trucks is a great opportunity to pair and challenge our technology with a company which specialises in some really remarkable off-road machines.”

ORI Iceland



Sune Tamm, project developer of AT said ‘’Arctic Trucks is delighted to partner with the Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI). Oxford Robotics Institute is pushing the boundaries of autonomous drive technology in challenging conditions on one of our re-engineered Toyota Hilux AT 38 vehicles. Icelandic driving conditions can be among the most harsh in the world. Arctic Trucks is excited to share our experience and we see the potential benefit of the autonomous drive technology being tested by ORI.  We´re passionate about pushing boundaries of science, technology, and engineering and we use our trucks as a platform for mobile science projects in both polar regions - but we still find that some of the toughest conditions are here in Iceland´s ´backyard´ where we will be working with ORI.’’