From Prague with Autonomy – Aurrigo International Plc’s Auto-Shuttle to be tested on public transport routes in Prague, Brno & Milton Keynes.
Aurrigo International plc will celebrate a major ‘export’ win today when it deploys its autonomous transport technology in mainland Europe for the first time.
The Coventry-based company, which recently celebrated its 1-year listing on AIM, will see its Auto-Shuttle vehicle take to the cobbled 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 see the autonomous vehicles run with a safety driver on board, while working towards a goal of using remote supervisor monitoring, signalling a new era in autonomy in public transportation.
Initially starting in the Czech capital, the project will also be running across Brno and Milton Keynes.
By operating in multiple cities in more than one country, the participants are gaining experience from different types of street layouts, road conditions and public attitudes to autonomy. This phase of the project will also examine integration with trip planning applications used in those cities.
David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo International plc, commented: “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 continued: “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, which is funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), is moving autonomous public transport to the next level of autonomy, by working towards removing the safety driver from the vehicle and using remote supervision.
It will aim to build trust in autonomous driving, through a robust transnational safety framework as well as promoting user acceptance and trust in close collaboration with citizens, cities, operators, academia, industry, and policymakers.
The Aurrigo technology suite brings together LiDAR and cameras with its own in-house developed software to give the Auto-Shuttle a constant, 3D, all-weather picture of its surroundings to enhance safety and efficiency.
Bani Anvari, Professor of Intelligent Mobility at University College London, added her support: “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.”
She concluded: “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.”
90 percent of Aurrigo’s project costs (€275,820) come from the EU via the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), with 10 percent contributed by the company (€30,506).
Aurrigo is a leading international provider of transport technology solutions.
Headquartered in Coventry, UK, it designs, engineers, manufactures and supplies autonomous vehicles and OEM products to the automotive and transport industries, particularly focusing on aviation.
It is highly regarded as a specialist in autonomous and semi-autonomous technology solutions for the aviation, ground handling and cargo industries.
Aurrigo has developed six types of autonomous vehicle to date, which can be utilised to reduce costs, resolve operational issues and tackle labour shortages, whilst also improving