UK tech company Aurrigo is taking part in the EU-Funded Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles, in which its Auto-Shuttle vehicles is running with a safety driver on board. The first place of deployment is Prague, where the vehicle started operating on 19th September at the Výstaviště Praha Exhibition Grounds.
Headquartered in Coventry, UK, Aurrigo is a specialist in autonomous and semi-autonomous technology solutions for the aviation, ground handling and cargo industries. The company has three divisions (Automotive Technology, Autonomous Technology – established in 2016 – and Aviation Technology) and has developed six types of autonomous vehicle to date.
Aurrigo technology for Living Lab for Autonomous Electric Vehicles
The Aurrigo technology suite on the Auto-Shuttle (with 10 seats on board) brings together LiDAR and cameras with Aurrigo own in-house developed software to give the Auto-Shuttle a constant, 3D, all-weather picture of its surroundings.
By working with 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.
Aurrigo points out that 90 percent of Aurrigo’s project costs (€274,820)come from the EU via the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), with 10 percent coming from Aurrigo (€30,506). The Aurrigo Auto-Shuttles began deployment on 19th September.
The first autonomous shuttles by Aurrigo
The European project is a milestone in the autonomous journey of Aurrigo, as CEO David Keene explains: “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 dreamt of are in stark contrast to the modern roads of Milton Keynes, which shows the importance of testing in multiple cities. The Aurrigo 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.”
Professor of Intelligent Mobility at University College London, Bani Anvari explains the aims of the LivingAPT project: “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. 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 (incl. 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 & moving towards remote operators who overlook a number of services simultaneously. This will be achieved through a robust transnational safety framework as well as promoting user acceptance and trust in close collaboration with citizens, cities, operators, academia, industry, and policy makers.”