A Coventry-based autonomous vehicle specialist is kick-starting a ‘world first’ trial showcasing how autonomous technology can deliver improved mobility and independence for people with health conditions and disabilities.
Jaguar Land Rover has developed a system that projects the direction of travel onto the road ahead of self-driving vehicles, to tell other road users what it is going to do next.
The intelligent technology beams a series of projections onto the road to show the future intentions of the vehicle – for example stopping and turning left or right – as part of research into how people can develop their trust in autonomous technology. In the future the projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.
These projections, tested on autonomous pods developed by Coventry-based Aurrigo, feature a series of lines or bars with adjustable spacing. The gaps shorten as the pod is preparing to brake before fully compressing at a stop. As the pod moves off and accelerates, the spacing between the lines extends. Upon approaching a turn, the bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel.
Trials were set up by a team of advanced engineers, working in Jaguar Land Rover’s Future Mobility division, supported by cognitive psychologists, after studies showed 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians are worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles*.
The innovative system was tested on a fabricated street scene at a Coventry facility with engineers recording trust levels reported by pedestrians both with and without projections.
The trust trial programme – which also included fitting of ‘virtual eyes’ to the intelligent pods in 2018 to see if making eye contact improved trust in the technology** – was conducted as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s government-supported UK Autodrive project.
“The trials are about understanding how much information a self-driving vehicle should share with a pedestrian to gain their trust. Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and when it comes to autonomous vehicles, pedestrians must have confidence they can cross the road safely. This pioneering research is forming the basis of ongoing development into how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future,” commented Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover.
Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, added his support: “Our autonomous pod technology is fast becoming the market leader in ‘first and last mile’ transport solutions and this has been reinforced by a number of deals to supply Pod Zero to customers in Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and, most recently, the US.
“The discussion about driverless vehicles is continuing to grow in intensity and we are delighted to be working with Jaguar Land Rover to install intelligent systems on to our pods that will project images depicting the direction of travel.
“This is a very important exercise and will provide crucial information on how humans interact with autonomous pods and the feedback we get can be used to shape how we evolve our technology to ensure we deliver solutions that are safe, accepted and deliver the mobility alternatives we need.”
Safety remains the priority as Jaguar Land Rover invests in self-driving technology, becoming automotive leaders in autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility. The trial is aligned with the brand’s long-term strategic goals: to make cars safer, free up people’s valuable time and improve mobility for everyone.
This commitment extends to Jaguar Land Rover’s current models with a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter available across its range of vehicles, including the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar.
Aurrigo has joined forces with Jaguar Land Rover to fit ‘virtual eyes’ to its autonomous pods to understand how humans will trust self-driving vehicles.
The friendly-faced ‘eye pods’ have a vital job: helping work out how much information future self-driving cars should share with users or pedestrians to ensure that people trust the technology.
The UK’s first ever ‘whale of pods’ has arrived in Milton Keynes thanks to the efforts of a Coventry-based autonomous vehicle specialist.
The latest stage of our international expansion was greeted with a wave of global exposure recently, highlighting our ability to provide a ‘first and last mile’ transport solution for people all over the world.
International expansion is on the horizon for one of the UK’s leading self-driving vehicle specialists after it announced its first location in Canada.
Aurrigo, the dedicated autonomous vehicle (AV) division of RDM Group, has opened a new sales and technical office in the heart of Ottawa and is now seeking academic, industry and government partners to support testing, validation and further development of its novel AV technology.
The company has already enlisted research leaders at Carleton University to facilitate AV trials on its campus.
Leveraging critical support from Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for Canada’s Capital, the Coventry-headquartered firm believes its four-seater pods will tap into the country’s appetite for the latest transport technology and offer a viable first and last mile transport solution for moving people around key locations.
The firm marked its arrival in Canada by delivering a keynote presentation at the 3rd annual Ottawa Autonomous Vehicles Summit, as well as showcasing one of its demonstrator pods to the audience.
“We have received significant global interest in our technology and have already invested in ‘on-the-ground’ presences in Australia and the US. Canada, with its forward-facing approach to innovation, was the next natural opportunity and we’re delighted we have now put a marker in the sand to show our commitment to the region,” explained David Keene, Chief Executive of Aurrigo.
“Invest Ottawa has been very supportive and have assisted us in finding a suitable location in the heart of the City and introducing us to possible partners. It has really made the process a lot easier and we are delighted that we can now start turning the discussions into actual trials – moving autonomous vehicles being used in Canada one step closer.”
He continued: “The pod we’ve brought over is in full Canadian livery and certainly provoked a lot of interest at the event.”
The Autonomous Vehicle Summit was organised by the Kanata North Business Association and Invest Ottawa, in partnership with the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE).
It showcased progress in automated driving technology and the far-reaching impacts this will have to society, whilst exploring the future of mobility and deployment attributes, such as transit, parking, infrastructure and urban planning, public policy and regulations, security and consumer acceptance.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth at the Government of Ontario, added his support:
“Ontario’s thriving auto sector and cutting-edge research in autonomous vehicles make it the perfect place for Aurrigo to expand its operations. The firm’s presence in Ontario will also help strengthen the province as a global leader in this exciting new sector.
“I look forward to seeing the innovative products Aurrigo will introduce at its Ottawa facility and how they will help change the way the world drives.”
Aurrigo, which employs over 65 people across the world, designs and develops the driverless vehicles from the ground up, including the autonomous control systems and offers a full “in the field” operating service.
Its PodZero has an operating speed of up to 15mph, multiple battery options up to eight hours or 50 miles and can be fitted out to seat four people or to transport cargo.
Blair Patacairk, VP Global Expansion at Invest Ottawa, concluded: “Ottawa’s AV cluster is second to none in providing all the key ingredients to test, pilot and launch innovative products, including highly-skilled talent, industry leaders, world-class academic research and the partners, facilities and environment. We look forward to working with Aurrigo to support their future growth here in the region.”
One of the UK’s leading forces in self-driving technology has been chosen to develop a new autonomous shuttle service in Cambridge.
Aurrigo, the dedicated autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group, has teamed up with Smart Cambridge – a collaboration of Cambridgeshire Country Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) – to successfully bid for £3.2m of Government funding to develop the innovative transport solution.
The multi-million grant from the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will be used to build and trial six 10-15 seater self-driving shuttles to operate on the Southern section of the existing guided busway, initially for an out-of-hours service, when buses aren’t running.