Aurrigo International plc – Innovate UK grant award for Auto-Shuttle project with Sunderland City Council
Aurrigo International plc (AIM: AURR, the “Company” or “Aurrigo”), a leading international provider of transport technology solutions announces that it has been awarded a grant for approximately £0.7m through Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ (“CCAV”) Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility (“CAM”) competition.
As part of the Sunderland Advanced Mobility Shuttle (“SAMS”) project, Aurrigo is being funded to provide three self-driving zero-emission Auto-Shuttles, which will transport passengers between Sunderland Interchange, Sunderland Royal Hospital and the University of Sunderland City Campus. The project will research, build, trial and evaluate the deployment of a highly automated, remotely supervised, zero-emission passenger mobility service within the City of Sunderland.
Development work is expected to commence in March, with the aim of demonstrating a sustainable commercial service during 2024.
The SAMS project has been awarded a combined £3m in grant funding, which has been matched by industry contributions to bring total funding to £5.5m. Aurrigo is partnering with Sunderland City Council, Busways Travel Services Ltd, Angoka Ltd, Newcastle University, Swansea University, and BAI Communications.
The UK Government is awarding £42m to seven projects through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ Commercialising Connected and Automated Mobility competition.
Prof. David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, commented:
“This grant enables us to build three brand new, bespoke Auto-Shuttles for the SAMS project. This programme will be a great opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of Auto-Shuttle and we are pleased to be partnering with Sunderland City Council to prove the viability of a sustainable, automated public transport service.”
Business Secretary Grant Shapps, said:
“In just a few years’ time, the business of self-driving vehicles could add tens of billions to our economy and create tens of thousands of jobs across the UK. This is a massive opportunity to drive forward our priority to grow the economy, which we are determined to seize.
“The support we are providing today will help our transport and technology pioneers steal a march on the global competition, by turning their bright ideas into market-ready products sooner than anyone else.”
Liz St Louis, Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, added:
“Leveraging the power of 5G technology and Sunderland’s leading smart city infrastructure, the focus of our ambitious project partners is underpinned by an ethos of leaving no one and nowhere behind.”
“Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) will provide huge social, industrial and economic benefits across the world and we’re hugely optimistic about a technology-fuelled future, powered by local expertise, right here in Sunderland.”
Self-driving vehicles could revolutionise public transport and passenger travel, especially for those who don’t drive, better connect rural communities and reduce road collisions caused by human error. Forecasts predict that by 2035, 40% of new UK car sales will have self-driving capabilities, with a total market value for connected and automated mobility worth £41.7 billion to the UK. This could create nearly 40,000 skilled jobs in connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology.
The government is also committed to introducing legislation that will enable the safe and timely rollout of self-driving vehicles on UK roads. Under a proposed ‘safety ambition’ for self-driving vehicles to be equivalent in safety to a competent and careful human driver, and vehicles will need to meet certain standards to be allowed to ‘self-drive’ on the roads throughout the lifetime of the vehicle.
Organisations overseeing self-driving vehicles could face sanctions if standards are not maintained.
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Aurrigo is a leading international provider of transport technology solutions. Headquartered in Coventry, UK, it designs, engineers, manufactures and supplies autonomous vehicles and OEM products to the automotive and transport industries, particularly focusing on aviation. It is highly regarded as a specialist in autonomous and semi-autonomous technology solutions for the aviation, ground handling and cargo industries. Aurrigo has developed six types of autonomous vehicle to date, which can be utilised to reduce costs, resolve operational issues and tackle labour shortages, whilst also improving sustainability. Aurrigo has three divisions, Automotive Technology, Autonomous Technology and Aviation Technology. For more information, see www.aurrigo.com