Cambridge hosted a first-of-its-kind UK trial of autonomous shuttle services

Service Engineering

Cambridge hosted a first-of-its-kind UK trial of autonomous shuttle services, which functioned on the main road surrounded by vans, lorries, pedestrians, cars and bikes.

On May 27, 2021, three Aurrigo autonomous shuttles took customers to Cambridge University’s West Campus from the Madingley Road Park and Ride site as part of an Innovate UK and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles project, led by Aurrigo with Smart Cambridge and Greater Cambridge Partnership.

“Cambridge hosted a first-of-its-kind UK trial of autonomous shuttle services.“

Passengers could use the Aurrigo App, which enabled them to be picked up from various locations across the two-mile route.

The Aurrigo Auto Shuttle is a first-of-its-kind conventionally driven autonomous and electric purpose-built vehicle, with a range of over one-hundred and twenty miles and its lightweight composite frame powered by a twenty-two-kilowatt electric motor. Furthermore, the shuttle moves and senses around its environment with none to little operator input.

Safety operators, who could regain manual control of the vehicles, were on board during the trials.

CEO, Aurrigo, David Keene, stated: “We’ve completed successful trials in city centres, in retirement complexes and at major golf tournaments - but this is the first time these vehicles will be sharing the route with everyday traffic. The shuttles will run autonomously for the majority of the route using our in-house developed Auto-Stack driving software and the latest LIDAR and camera technology to identify potential hazards as they move around.”

Director of Cambridge Network and business representative on the GCP Executive Board, Claire Ruskin, stated: “These shuttles could be used on demand all day and night, every day of the year, which is unaffordable with our existing public transport. They are flexible and make good use of resources without needing significant infrastructure. As employment around Cambridge is twenty-four-seven for many organisations, including our hospitals, emergency services and many of our labs – we have been anticipating this new technology to see how real operation will help people get around.”

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