A Coventry-based autonomous vehicle specialist has been chosen to play a significant role in the £4m Milton Keynes MK 5G Create project.
Aurrigo, which has already completed a successful driverless vehicle trial in the town, will join forces with Milton Keynes Council, MK Dons, BT and five other consortium partners to test out how 5G applications can create a world class visitor experience for users of the stadium and surrounding campus facilities.
The company will manufacture and operate a ten-seater shuttle running a short autonomous route from Bletchley train station to MK Dons Stadium, together with two pods operating around the retail park perimeter.
In a world first, there will also be a driverless Security Pod equipped with a tethered drone patrolling and streaming CCTV footage over 5G direct to the security centre.
“This is another very exciting chance for Aurrigo to deploy our expertise here in the UK, showcasing our autonomous technology and allowing us to engage with the wider public,” explained Simon Brewerton, Chief Technical Officer at Aurrigo.
“We have a fantastic opportunity with this project to integrate several cutting-edge technologies, including 5G cellular communications that allow guaranteed low data latency and available bandwidth, even when the stadium and retail park are bustling on match days.”
He continued: “5G allows data from our autonomous vehicles to be monitored remotely in real-time and enables safe and secure communications between multiple vehicles and the central control room, as well as direct communications with each other.
“All of the vehicles are being manufactured in our state-of-the-art engineering centre in Coventry and we will have a dedicated team of 15 people producing them and then operating them on site.”
MK 5G Create is one of nine projects to receive funding as part of a £28.3million joint investment between Government and business to explore how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help British industries capitalise on the power of modern technology.
Trials are dependent on Covid-19 restrictions but could start as early as the end of March and will run for just over a year, providing autonomous transport options for local people and visitors to the MK Dons campus.
It is expected that users will be able to use the new Aurrigo app to book a ride in the shuttle or pods.
Simon went on to add: “It’s great to be returning to Milton Keynes to showcase another type of autonomous transport in the form of our shuttles and how they can deliver an even more engaging rider experience through the power of 5G.
“There is also a lot of anticipation for the unmanned Security Pod that will provide protection and a ‘constant eye’ in the sky. This is a world first and it’s great that we can potentially prove out a solution for businesses to improve and reduce their costs using automated security solutions.”
Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, concluded: “5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds, so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives.
“The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic.”
Aurrigo has a number of exciting plans for 2021, including delivering an autonomous shuttle trial at the University of Cambridge’s West Cambridge site and the roll-out of its autonomous luggage dolly for aviation.
The latter is being supported by a number of international airports and promises to offer a host of operational and environmental improvements over using the current manned luggage dollies that are commonly in use today.For further information, please visit ww.aurrigo.com or follow @aurrigotech on twitter.
In a West Midlands Business Masters Awards ceremony like no other, the Class of 2020 were crowned this evening in a virtual event hosted by TheBusinessDesk.com’s joint managing director Alex Turner.
This year’s Ambassador of the Year Award went to Rob Groves, senior project director at Argent – the company in charge of developing the huge Paradise scheme in Birmingham city centre.
Alex Turner said: “We’d like to thank the West Midlands businesses for the support we’ve received since March. What we’ve noticed is a real sense of community and we’re sure that will continue when we see you face to face in 2021.”
Rob Groves added: “”I’d like to thank everyone for this award. I’m gobsmacked. We are in immensely challening times but seeing everyone’s faces when we open buildings is fantastic.
“Seeing and feeling our building at Paradise makes me very proud. We’ve got a great team in Birmingham and we’ve been through some hurdles, but it’s only through their passion that we can do something like Paradise.”
Double Award success highlights Aurrigo’s pioneering ‘autonomous technology’ work
Aurrigo has reinforced its reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the West Midlands after sealing a second major business award in just two weeks.
Our efforts in making autonomous technology a reality in everyday life has seen us beat off competition from a host of amazing companies to claim the Innovation titles at Insider’s Made in the Midlands and Business Desk West Midlands’ Masters Awards evenings.
Judges from both competitions highlighted our ability to combine increasing international trade with advancements in our engineering centre in Coventry and a number of major breakthroughs.
This includes a successful trial with the Blind Veterans UK to look at self-driving technology to aid mobility, a ground breaking luggage dolly at Heathrow and, most recently, a sporting first where our autonomous shuttle carried professional golfers at the Wales Open.
Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, commented: “To win one of the Awards is an achievement, but to secure a second one last night was the icing on the cake for us.
“We have been at the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology for more than a decade and have invested heavily in taking innovation in its purest form and applying it to solve real world solutions.”
He continued: “This approach is now starting to pay off with our pods in operation across six different countries, significant interest in our aviation work and a new shuttle trial that has just kicked-off in Cambridge.
“A big well done to all of the team, who have continued to innovate and work tirelessly during what has been a very challenging year with Covid-19.”
The double award success follows an earlier triumph this year, with Aurrigo beating off some of the world’s largest automotive suppliers and brands to claim Autocar’s Innovation Award.
2020 West Midlands Business Masters – Winners and shortlisted companies