Passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses commence operation in Milton Keynes

Passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses commence operation in Milton Keynes

Aurrigo International PLC, a global leader in transport technology solutions, is set to play a key role in the groundbreaking EU-Funded Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles project. The company’s Auto-Shuttle vehicles will lead the initiative, showcasing their autonomous capabilities with a safety driver on board, with the goal of eventually transitioning to remote supervisor monitoring. This development marks a significant advancement in autonomous public transportation.

The project aims to eliminate the need for a safety driver within the vehicle and instead rely on remote supervision. Its primary objectives include establishing trust in autonomous driving through a robust transnational safety framework and fostering user acceptance and confidence. Aurrigo is collaborating closely with citizens, cities, operators, academia, industry stakeholders, and policymakers to achieve these goals.

What makes this project unique is its wide scope, involving multiple cities in different countries. Participants will gain valuable experience in dealing with various street layouts, road conditions, and public attitudes towards autonomous vehicles. The project will also explore integration with trip planning applications used in these cities.

The project will take place in European cities such as Prague, Brno, and Milton Keynes and is a collaborative effort involving industry partners, operators, municipalities, and University College London, serving as the project leader.

Aurrigo sees this European project as a significant milestone in its journey towards autonomous transportation. CEO David Keene expressed his excitement about working with prestigious partners and taking a crucial step in autonomous public transport. He highlighted the importance of testing in multiple cities, showcasing the stark contrast between the medieval streets of Prague and the modern roads of Milton Keynes.

One of the key features of the Aurrigo Auto-Shuttle is its integration of LiDAR and cameras with the company’s proprietary in-house developed software. This combination provides the Auto-Shuttle with a constant, 3D, all-weather view of its surroundings, enhancing safety and efficiency.

Professor Bani Anvari from University College London, an expert in Intelligent Mobility, explained the goals of the LivingAPT project. The project aims to deliver sustainable driverless shuttle and logistics services among various European cities and phase out the need for safety drivers in shuttles. This will be achieved through a robust transnational safety framework and by promoting user acceptance and trust.

Aurrigo has made a substantial financial contribution to the project, with 90% of the costs funded by the EU via the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). The remaining 10% is provided by Aurrigo. The deployment of Aurrigo Auto-Shuttles is scheduled to begin on September 19th.

Headquartered in Coventry, UK, Aurrigo is a premier international provider of transport technology solutions. The company specializes in designing, engineering, manufacturing, and supplying autonomous vehicles and OEM products to the automotive and transport industries. Aurrigo has developed six types of autonomous vehicles, offering solutions to reduce costs, address operational challenges, alleviate labor shortages, and enhance sustainability. The company operates under three distinct divisions: Automotive Technology, Autonomous Technology, and Aviation Technology.
Passenger-Carrying Autonomous Shuttle Buses Commence Operation in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes, a city renowned for its forward-thinking approach to technology and transport, has taken another stride towards a smarter, greener future by introducing passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses to its streets. This pioneering development marks a significant milestone in the integration of autonomous vehicles into our daily lives.

These autonomous shuttle buses, equipped with cutting-edge technology, are set to revolutionize public transportation systems. The pilot project, jointly launched by Transport for Milton Keynes (TfMK) and the Milton Keynes Council, aims to assess the feasibility and benefits of autonomous shuttles as a sustainable and affordable mode of transport.

With climate change and environmental concerns becoming increasingly pressing issues, shifting towards greener transportation options has become a priority. Passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses offer a unique solution to address both the demand for public transportation and the need to reduce pollution. By eliminating exhaust emissions and optimizing traffic flow, these shuttles have the potential to significantly reduce air pollution in the city, contributing to a cleaner environment for residents.

Safety, undoubtedly, remains a crucial factor when considering the introduction of autonomous vehicles on public roads. In light of this, the shuttle buses have been designed to meet strict safety regulations and have undergone extensive testing prior to their operation in real-world scenarios. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and artificial intelligence, the shuttles are programmed to navigate the city streets, detect obstacles, and respond to traffic conditions in real-time. Furthermore, the vehicles are constantly monitored and supervised by trained safety operators, ensuring a seamless and secure travel experience for passengers.

The shuttles, with a capacity to accommodate up to ten passengers, will initially operate along designated routes, covering key areas of the city. Passengers will have access to a user-friendly mobile application, allowing them to conveniently book and track the shuttle buses in real-time. This technology-driven approach aims to enhance the overall passenger experience, providing a flexible and efficient mode of transportation that adapts to their schedules and requirements.

The introduction of these autonomous shuttle buses also provides a unique opportunity to better understand public acceptance and attitudes towards autonomous vehicles. By encouraging residents to provide feedback and insights on their experience using the shuttles, policy-makers and authorities can gather valuable data to refine and improve autonomous transportation systems in the future.

The implementation of passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses in Milton Keynes represents a significant step towards a future where autonomous vehicles become an integral part of our transportation ecosystem. As other cities worldwide closely monitor these developments, Milton Keynes sets a remarkable precedent for embracing innovative technologies that have the potential to reshape urban mobility and create sustainable cities.

In conclusion, the commencement of operations of passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle buses in Milton Keynes marks a momentous occasion in the advancement of autonomous vehicles. With improved safety measures and the potential to significantly reduce pollution, these shuttles offer a glimpse into the future of public transportation. As the pilot project unfolds, it is evident that Milton Keynes continues to be a trailblazer in harnessing technology for the betterment of its residents and the environment.

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