Latest News from Aurrigo
Vodafone and AWS technology tie-up delivers ‘autonomous’ boost for Aurrigo. Aurrigo has become one of the first companies in the UK to benefit from a new technology partnership between Vodafone and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The autonomous vehicle specialist has been powering its three Auto-Shuttles – used in therecent trials on roads in Cambridge – with AWS Wavelength and Distributed Edge Computing from Vodafone, which together delivers ultra-low latency and expansive bandwidth that guarantees excellent levels of performance and cyber resilience as the data is not exposed to the public internet. Paired with Vodafone’s 5G network, it is an important breakthrough in the driverless vehicle arena and moves the company a step closer to removing the human safety supervisor from its pods and shuttles that are being tested and operated in more than five countries across the world.
“AWS Wavelength, Vodafone 5G and MEC technologies allow us to monitor our autonomous vehicles in real time, via safe and secure communications,” explained Simon Brewerton, Chief Technology Officer at Coventry-based Aurrigo. “The assured high bandwidth connectivity between multiple vehicles, the central control room and our servers, supports critical uses such as remote supervision and first-person video feeds.” He continued: “This is a paradigm shift in reliability, speed and capacity compared with the previous connectivity we had access to, and we look forward to working with the two global leaders to really maximise the potential of their complementary technology on future trials.”
Cambridge was an important milestone for Aurrigo, which is leading the world in the development of ‘first and last mile’ transport solutions. The trial – run in partnership with Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and Smart Cambridge – marked the first time in the UK a company had undertaken testing of a custom made autonomous vehicle capable of carrying passengers on a main road surrounded by other traffic, including cars, lorries, vans, bikes and pedestrians.
Able to seat 10 people outside of social distancing restrictions, the three shuttles tookpassengers from the Madingley Road Park and Ride site to and around the University of Cambridge’s West Campus.
It was also the first time Aurrigo engineers had been able to tap into Vodafone’s Distributed Edge Computing, which provides significantly better one-way latency of 25ms to 30ms compared to 70ms to 80ms with the normal cloud.
Using Vodafone’s 4G and 5G also ensure that the three operating Auto-Shuttles received aguaranteed level of connectivity. Simon continued: “Low latency and high bandwidth combine to guarantee an exceptional level of performance from our shuttles and a backend service that is seamless and connected.
“The power of Vodafone Distributed Edge Computing and AWS Wavelength has been crucial to the success of the Cambridge trial and has given us confidence that we can move forward with more testing and the important next step of operating without a human supervisor.
“This really is a giant leap in ‘secure connectivity’ and we are delighted our project was chosen as the first in the UK to benefit.” Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone UK, said: “What we are doing in the UK is evolving our business beyond the traditional boundaries of telecoms connectivity services.
Edge Compute and 5G is a combination no other service provider can offer in Europe. “This evolution of our network will empower companies like Aurrigo, making futuristic ideas like autonomous vehicles a reality.”
Aurrigo’s landmark Cambridge trial came to a close yesterday (June 29th) when it transported its last public passengers. Over the course of the project, more than 1000 people have experienced an autonomous journey on a public road shared with other traffic, with feedback set to be used to develop future transport solutions for the historical city.
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Latest News from Aurrigo
Aurrigo will claim another UK milestone in autonomous technology today when its Auto-Shuttles officially begin trials in Cambridge.
The company, which has been hugely instrumental in the development of ‘first and last mile’ transport solutions, will become the first firm in the country to undertake testing of a custom-made autonomous vehicle capable of carrying passengers on a main road surrounded by other traffic, including cars, lorries, vans, bikes and pedestrians.
Able to seat 10 people outside of social distancing restrictions, the three shuttles will take passengers from the Madingley Road Park and Ride site to and around the University of Cambridge’s West Campus.
The trial is part of an Innovate UK and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV)-backed project, led by Aurrigo with Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and Smart Cambridge all working together to explore how autonomous technology could be used on the public transport network.
It is anticipated that passengers recruited for the project will be able to use an Aurrigo App that will allow them to be picked-up at a number of locations across the 2-mile route.
“This is another major milestone in the journey towards making autonomous vehicles a reality on our roads,” explained David Keene, Chief Executive Officer of Aurrigo.
“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.
“The shuttles, which have been designed and manufactured at our Advanced Engineering Centre in Coventry, will operate the 20-minute journey around the West Cambridge route. They will run autonomously for the majority of the route using our in-house developed Auto-Stack™ driving software and the latest LIDAR and camera technology to identify potential hazards as they move around.”
He continued: “Our technology will help provide new transport solutions for city centres, shopping and care facilities, airports and heritage sites. The trial in Cambridge is the next step in proving it.”
Boasting a range of over 120 miles, the Aurrigo Auto-Shuttle™ is the world’s first conventionally driven electric and autonomous purpose-built vehicle, with its lightweight composite frame powered by a 22kW electric motor.
The striking external design is replicated inside, creating a safe environment for up to 10 people to sit once Covid-19 social distancing is relaxed. This includes space for wheelchair users that can access the vehicle via an automatically deployed ramp.
Trials in Cambridge had been halted by the pandemic, but with mapping now complete, it will be left to Rachel Maclean, Minister for the Future of Transport, to officially mark the start of public testing by taking the first official journey later today.
“Self-driving vehicles present a number of opportunities for the UK, from providing safer, greener and more reliable transport services to creating tens of thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs across the nation,” commented Rachel Maclean MP.
“This project is hugely exciting and is an example of how self-driving vehicles could make it easier for people to travel on the UK’s future public transport network.”
The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and Smart Cambridge-led trials will support research into potential driverless shuttle services to link the city’s other research campuses with the rail stations and Park & Ride sites.
They will also further explore how smart technology can be used to cut congestion and improve public transport, especially for shift workers, weekend shoppers and revellers.
Claire Ruskin, Director of Cambridge Network and business representative on the GCP Executive Board, added her support:
“It is very exciting to see these vehicles working on real roads here as another first in Cambridge. These shuttles could be used on demand all day and night, every day of the year – which is unaffordable with our existing public transport.
“They are flexible and make good use of resources without needing significant infrastructure. As employment around Cambridge is 24/7 for many organisations – including our hospitals, emergency services, and many of our labs – we have been anticipating this new technology to see how real operation will help people get around.”
She concluded: “This trial is part of wider plans by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to help the area work sustainably as it continues to deliver world-leading innovation for the UK.”
For further information, please visit www.aurrigo.com, www.smartcambridge.org or www.greatercambridge.org.uk