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Aurrigo takes off with first autonomous shuttle trial at Birmingham airport.

(l-r) Cllr Ian Courts, Nick Barton (Birmingham Airport) and Henriette Breukelaar (Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP)

A driverless shuttle, owned by Solihull Council and designed and built in Coventry, made its

debut in the grounds of a UK airport for the first time this week.

Aurrigo, which employs over 70 people at its Advanced Engineering Centre, will deploy its

10-seater Auto-Shuttle alongside live traffic on the roads of Birmingham Airport.

The company has mapped out a route that will initially transport staff from the Departures

entrance and Diamond House to Car Park 5, with the potential for the trial to be extended to

passengers later this month.

The zero-emissions autonomous shuttle uses a suite of sensors, including LiDAR, to

understand its surroundings and move safely around its environment.

For the purpose of testing, and in line with current legislation, a safety operator will be onboard

at all times, whilst the shuttle can also be manually driven with conventional controls

to give the ultimate in operational flexibility.

This latest project is an exciting Solihull Council-led initiative to test how Connected

Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) might be integrated into the borough’s transport network in the

future and follows a successful trial at the National Exhibition Centre last year.

Miles Garner, Sales & Marketing Director at Aurrigo, explained: “We are delighted to be

working with Solihull Council again to deliver another milestone, with Birmingham Airport

becoming the first ever Airport to test our autonomous shuttles passenger side on their


“Aviation is a major opportunity for Aurrigo, with a genuine desire to find new technologies

that can improve the passenger experience. This could be through our driverless shuttles,

our Auto-Sim modelling software or it could be through our Auto-Dolly cargo/luggage dolly

that can replace the traditional tugs that are commonplace in airports all over the world.”

He continued: “We are currently working on projects at Changi Airport in Singapore and

Gerald R. Ford International in North America, putting the UK on the global map for

autonomous technology deployment.”

Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, added his support: “Autonomous

technology promises enormous benefits to airports and the service companies that support

them, with the potential to transform the way we work and improve efficiency and safety for

passengers, staff and other airport users.

“We are really excited to be working with Solihull Council on this trial, which will provide us

with invaluable insight into how we can start to safely incorporate CAVs into our vehicle fleet.

This trial of fully electric vehicles, and testing their capabilities on site, is making sure we are

working towards our net zero carbon target by 2033.”

Aurrigo has been creating headlines in the aviation sector after using its Auto-Sim 

technology to help Changi Airport in Singapore with development work on a new terminal.

The company, which was founded by brothers David and Graham Keene nearly 30 years

ago, has also used its in-house software, technology and engineering expertise to develop

the Auto-Dolly, a new autonomous luggage and cargo system that has the potential to

deliver 60% carbon savings for airports.

It is anticipated that the digital twin modelling work could prove the business case for these

dollies to replace conventional diesel-powered luggage and cargo tractors and trailers by two


Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, concluded: “CAV technology has the

potential to revolutionise the way we get around our towns, cities and rural areas as well as

transport goods. I’m excited that we are the first Council in the country to purchase our very

own zero-emission, road-legal, shared use Connected Autonomous Vehicle and we are

keen to put it to use.

“This project is all about looking at how we can practically and safely start to incorporate

autonomous vehicles into our future transport infrastructure. Already one of the bestconnected

destinations in the UK and Europe, Birmingham Airport is the perfect place to trial

our shuttle providing us with a busy but controlled environment in which to gain further realworld

operating experience.”

This project forms part of the wider West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) funded UK

Central investment programme, which is delivering a wide range of projects, from walking

and cycling improvement schemes through to town centre redevelopments and build on the

establishment of the Midlands Future Mobility testbed.

For more information, please visit or follow @aurrigotech on twitter

Transport minister praises Solihull for cutting-edge work on driverless vehicles

SOLIHULL’S cutting-edge work on driverless cars was showcased when Transport Minister Trudy Harrison visited the borough. Ms Harrison was joined by Leader of Solihull Council Councillor Ian Courts, cabinet member for environment and infrastructure Coun Ken Hawkins and bosses from ZF Hub an automotive company based in Blythe Valley Park to discuss the work being carried out with Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and the future of the technology.

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