300 take part in autonomous shuttle passenger trial
- Credit: GREATER CAMBRIDGE PARTNERSHIP
Hundreds of people travelled more than 1,000 kilometres in ground-breaking autonomous vehicle trials held in Cambridge.
More than 300 passengers hopped on board the Aurrigo shuttles to take fully autonomous journeys around the University of Cambridge’s West of Cambridge site this summer – including transport minister Rachel Maclean MP.
The self-driving shuttles were operating from Madingley Park & Ride throughout June to investigate the possibility of autonomous vehicles being used as part of a public transport service in the future.
This was the first time custom-built autonomous vehicles have shared the road with other traffic in the UK whilst carrying passengers.
Each shuttle was crewed by two onboard safety operators who were able to regain manual control of the vehicle immediately at any time if required.
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Surveys were sent to all passengers who had booked a ride online to understand how they felt about their trip in the vehicle and how they might feel about an autonomous service in the future.
Over 97 per cent of people who filled out the survey said they would get on one again without hesitation.
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The project was led by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), Smart Cambridge and engineering firm Aurrigo.
It aimed o look at how autonomous technology can be used on the public transport network.
It is backed by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).
Cllr Neil Gough, chair of the GCP’s executive board, said: “We’re looking for innovative, future-proof transport solutions and this technology could prove to be a vital component.
“It would help to transform the way thousands of people travel in and around Cambridge every day to help cut congestion, improve air quality and give people a real alternative to travelling by car
The findings of these trials will support research into potential driverless shuttle services, to link the city’s other research campuses with the rail stations and park and ride sites.
For more information visit the Autonomous Shuttle project page on the GCP website.