The autonomous technology division was established in 2016 to develop autonomous capabilities supported by the Group’s strong and extensive experience in the automotive division for vehicle engineering. It develops and manufactures autonomous vehicles and supporting systems from the “ground up”.
Auto-Pod was the first autonomous vehicle developed by the Group and is a four-seat product designed for the non-road going passenger transportation of small groups, for example to and from airports, city centres, sporting venues, university campuses and age care communities. It is capable of operating on a fully autonomous basis, albeit current UK and most International safety standards require a safety supervisor to be on-board whilst it is in autonomous mode of operation.
The Auto-Shuttle was developed from 2018 and is a ten-seat passenger vehicle with the ability to operate fully autonomously or driven manually as a conventional EV shuttle. It is the first road legal vehicle to be manufactured by the Group. The vehicle has been designed to provide economical public transport in under-served or previously less cost-efficient parts of the country, as well providing an excellent transport solution in airports to move passengers to and from terminals and to operate airside with applications such as VIP transport and crew movements.
Auto-Deliver has been designed and developed as a one-off prototype, first and last mile, home shopping / logistics vehicle. The Auto-Deliver is capable of operating in non-road going environments, such as university campuses and age care communities. It can carry the same payload of forty standard containers and four chilled containers that are currently used by the fleets of home delivery vehicles operated by the leading UK supermarket chains.
Auto-Stack is the Group’s Autonomous Driving Software (ADS) and has been developed solely in-house. Auto-Stack is a highly complex set of software modules which control the core vehicle driving functions such as steering, braking, drive power, multiple sensor integration, safety, location mapping, localisation to the map and then route and navigation guidance. The software stack also interfaces with the outside world and handles all the communications gateways, cyber security resilience and all vehicle safety systems.