Autonomous shuttle trials begin on Cambridge roads

by Will Trinkwon, Autocar UK 28 May 2021


Autonomous transport company Aurrigo has begun trials of the Auto-Shuttle, a self-driving bus, in Cambridge, the UK.

The Auto-Shuttle, which was revealed last year, is able to seat 10 people (when not social distancing) and will drive on roads surrounded by other traffic, including cars, lorries, vans, bikes and pedestrians.

Three Auto-Shuttles have been deployed for the trial. They will take passengers from Cambridge’s Madingley Road park and ride site to and around the University of Cambridge’s nearby West Campus, a route of around two miles.

Passengers will at a later period be able to use an Aurrigo app to allow them to be picked up at a number of locations on the route during the Innovate UK and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV)-backed trial.

Aurrigo boss David Keene said: “This is another major milestone in the journey towards making autonomous vehicles a reality on our roads.

“We’ve completed successful trials in city centres, in retirement complexes and at major golf tournaments, but this is the first time these vehicles will be sharing the route with everyday traffic.”

Aurrigo claims that the Auto-Shuttle is “the world’s first conventionally driven electric and autonomous purpose-built vehicle.” It is powered by a 30bhp electric motor and can travel at speeds of up to 30mph/49kph with a range of over 120 miles / 196 kilometres.

Inside, the Auto-Shuttle has seating space for a maximum of 10 people, as well as space for wheelchair users, who can access the shuttle via an automatically deployed ramp.

Last August, Aurrigo ran the shuttle at an international golf competition at Celtic Manor – the European Tour’s ISPS Honda Wales Open – where it transported players and caddies around the facility.