A £14m investment in Oxford company Oxbotica will speed up the development of driverless cars.

The Summertown-based firm is the UK’s leading autonomous vehicle software developer.

The investment will support the next stage of its growth plan and its goal of seeing its self-driving vehicles on the roads.

Oxbotica staff are hoping their vehicles will be used on roads, farms and even on Mars and its technology has already been trialled with Ocado, at Heathrow Airport, and on some city streets.

The investment follows a successful commercial roll-out in the world’s largest markets, including North America, Europe and Asia.

The lead investor is IP Group plc, alongside Parkwalk Advisors and long-term commercial partner AXA XL

Paul Newman, co-founder of Oxbotica, said: “The design of our technology, as well as its independence from external infrastructure such as GPS, makes it uniquely versatile across a range of industries. This has allowed us to trade from day one, attracting a significant blue-chip customer base.

“Together with our customers and partners, my fellow founder Ingmar Posner and I look forward to taking our technology, and our products, to the next level.”

Founded in 2014 from research from Oxford University’s Robotics Institute, Oxbotica’s software uses the latest in computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This has made the firm an attractive solution for businesses looking to increase efficiency.