Aurrigo International will soon deploy its autonomous transport technology in mainland Europe for the first time as part of a funded city trial.
The Coventry-based company, which recently celebrated its one-year listing on AIM, will see its Auto-Shuttle vehicle take to the streets of Prague as part of the €275,820 EU-funded Living Lab for Autonomous Public Transport Project (LivingLAPT).
Led by University College London (UCL), the cooperation between industry, municipalities and operators will involve the autonomous vehicles running with a safety driver on board, while working towards a goal of using remote supervisor monitoring.
Initially starting in the Czech capital, the project will also be running across Brno and Milton Keynes.
David Keene, chief executive of Aurrigo International plc, said: “Although we work all over the world, this is the first Auto-Shuttle deployment in mainland Europe for Aurrigo, and we are delighted to be working with such a prestigious group of partners to move towards this important step in autonomous public transport.
“The medieval, cobbled streets of Prague – built before cars or buses were even dreamt of -are in stark contrast to the modern roads of Milton Keynes, which shows the importance of testing in multiple cities.”
He added: “Our Auto-Shuttle is a perfect vehicle for this project because we create the vehicle, software and autonomous driving hardware in-house, to work in perfect harmony and this level of integration is vital when breaking new ground in driverless technology.”
The project is funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT).
It will aim to build trust in autonomous driving through a transnational safety framework, as well as promoting user acceptance and trust in close collaboration with citizens, cities, operators, academia, industry, and policymakers.
Bani Anvari, professor of intelligent mobility at University College London, said: “Cities face challenges such as reducing emissions, improving the safety and mobility of cyclists or pedestrians and increasing quality of life for citizens.
“Driverless shuttles or pods can be a game changer for cities as they address many of these challenges. However, current solutions lack a transferrable regulatory and safety framework among European cities. Low public acceptance, in combination with high investments in the new technology (including insurance and safety driver), are a barrier to adoption for many cities.
“LivingLAPT will deliver sustainable driverless shuttle and logistics services among various European cities by phasing out the need for safety drivers in shuttles and moving towards remote operators who overlook several services simultaneously.”