The UK Autodrive autonomous vehicle project is concluding with details of how pods for first-last mile solutions have been introduced into the English city of Milton Keynes.
The project says the pods have provided a “crucial link” to the autonomous and connected vehicles in its “grand finale”, enabling the world’s first demonstration of multi-CAV vehicles completing an end-to-end journey in the UK.
As part of the UK Autodrive project, Milton Keynes Council has been working with pod maker Aurrigo to test out a new first/last mile transport solution for local people, shoppers and visitors to Milton Keynes. Watch the video here.
Mile Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, explained, “The trial in Milton Keynes has proved we have advanced autonomous technology that works in a live public environment and pods that can provide that crucial first and last mile transport solution for towns and cities throughout the world.”
Up to 15 pods – capable of travelling up to 15 miles per hour and lasting up to 60 miles off one charge – have been operating in the city centre from Central Railway Station. There are plans for the pods to continue to operate in the city, with a service being offered to residents in the near future.
“Being involved as one of the lead partners in UK Autodrive has transformed our business and given us the opportunity to test our technology alongside some of the world’s largest manufacturers in Jaguar Land Rover and Tata,” continued Garner. “We need to take advantage of being first to market and we are already in discussions with a number of potential customers to take our pods for use on University campuses, theme parks, shopping malls and retirement villages. The potential is huge and we are projecting increases in turnover that could reach £100m over the next three years.”
Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes Council commented; “We are thrilled to have seen the successful demonstration of the technology here in Milton Keynes. What we have seen is the potential for this technology to develop into a full blown public transport service. This is important to us because, we want to have the ability to provide first and last mile mobility options that can help people get about their business in an efficient and safe way and giving improved travel options for those who cannot drive or might find it difficult to use buses, cycles or have difficulty walking.”
The technology is being demonstrated at the CAV Scotland event in Edinburgh on 31 October and 1 November – cavscotland.co.uk