5th Jul, 2022

Coventry technology company trials self-driving cars in groundbreaking test

Ryan Smith 21st Jun, 2022

COVENTRY autonomous technology company Aurrigo started a four-day trial of self-driving vehicles on Sunday at Alnwick Castle.

The trials are the first time that self-driving vehicles have been tested in rural communities, and members of the public were invited to ask questions about the vehicles and got to take a ride.

They are part of a new study led by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and BritainThinks.

The firm’s auto pod carried up to two passengers on a 500-metre path between the Alnwick Gardens and Alnwick Castle, while the Auto Shuttle, which can hold up to six people, was also running.

The Auto Shuttle took people on a 1.2kilometre route from the bus station to the castle, during which it faced live traffic.

It also gave people the chance to look at the self-driving ‘grocery delivery’ vehicle, which aims to change the way people receive essential items at their front door.

The vehicles are electric-powered and use sensors to understand their surroundings.

Aurrigo’s operations manager Ricky Raines said: “The feedback we have received during these trials will be important in the future development of self-driving vehicles.”

“We believe these types of first and last mile transport are key to supporting people with mobility issues and this exploration event will be extremely useful in helping understand how people in rural locations feel about self-driving technology and any changes that can be made to enhance the user experience.”

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison added: “Self-driving technology has the potential to reform the way we get from A to B, making our future journeys easier, more environmentally friendly and, crucially, safer.

“I hope these demonstrations provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the technology and experience the cutting-edge innovation first-hand.”

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