Aurrigo, an UK-based autonomous vehicle manufacturer, has unveiled its Auto-Shuttle as the designated autonomous vehicle for the Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles project. This collaborative initiative, funded by the European Union and led by University College London, seeks to assess the potential of driverless public transit in Europe.
Initially, Aurrigo's Auto-Shuttles will have human operators on board to take control in the event of errors or emergencies. However, Aurrigo's ambitious plan is to gradually phase out human operators and replace them with remote supervisors, who will not be physically present on the bus but will have the capability to intervene if necessary. This strategic transition aims to familiarize passengers with the concept of driverless buses while the fully autonomous technology is further developed.
Bani Anvari, a professor at University College London, highlighted the significance of this project, stating, “Cities face challenges such as reducing emissions, improving the safety and mobility of cyclists or pedestrians, increasing quality of life for citizens. Driverless shuttles or pods can be a game changer for cities as they address many of these challenges.”
The Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles project, in collaboration with Aurrigo, has already deployed the Auto-Shuttle vehicles in Prague and Brno, Czech Republic, as well as in Milton Keynes, UK.
David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “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.”
Aurrigo's Auto-Shuttle relies on LiDAR technology, cameras, and the company's in-house developed software to provide a clear, consistent picture of the surrounding environment. Aurrigo emphasizes its commitment to implementing a robust safety framework to ensure the responsible rollout of its autonomous technology.
This collaboration between Aurrigo and the Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles project marks a significant milestone in the development of autonomous public transit solutions, with the potential to address pressing urban challenges across European cities.