UK: Autonomous Shuttles Provide Rural Transport at Alnwick Castle

Aurrigo has trialed two autonomous shuttles at Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Gardens as part of a new study led by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and BritainThinks.

The 4-day trial in Alnwick, Northumberland marks the first time that self-driving vehicles have been tested in a rural UK community.

Throughout the “Great Self Driving Exploration” event at Alnwick Castle, Aurrigo’s Auto-Pod carried up to two passengers on a shared 500 metre path connecting the castle with Alnwick Gardens. Meanwhile, its Auto-Shuttle carried up to six people from the bus station to the castle on a 1.2 kilometre route alongside live traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.

Aurrigo Autonomous Shuttles Alnwick
The Aurrigo Auto-Pod at Alnwick Gardens
Ricky Raines, Operations Manager at Aurrigo said:

“It’s great to be showcasing our technology in such a beautiful location and the feedback we have received will be important in the future development of self-driving vehicles. We believe these types of first and last mile transport is key to supporting people with mobility issues and this Exploration event will be extremely useful in helping understand how individuals in rural locations feel about self-driving technology and any changes that can be made to enhance the user experience.”

Both self-driving vehicles are electrically-powered and use a raft of sensors to monitor their surroundings. The autonomous shuttles have also been trialed at other venues across the UK, such as Birmingham Airport.

Aurrigo Autonomous Shuttles Alnwick
The Aurrigo Auto-Shuttle at Alnwick Castle
Mark Brassell, Director of The Alnwick Garden, said:

“Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden are thrilled to be hosting The Great Self Driving Exploration, giving local people the opportunity to experience the latest innovations in self-driving vehicles. The event offered a fantastic opportunity for people to trial the vehicles themselves and learn more about the future of self-driving vehicles and their potential role in enhancing current transport provisions – delivering safer and more accessible transport in the process.”

In addition, while at Alnwick Castle, Aurrigo presented its Auto-Deliver vehicle that could be deployed to complete multiple deliveries at housing estates, university campuses and business parks the company said.

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