- Companies in the UK and US join forces to lead the world in visualising the application of smart autonomous vehicles in our communities
- Delegates to CES 2019 in Las Vegas will be able to ask self-driving pods about the weather and city information, as well as requesting the pods to tell jokes
- First collaboration between Aurrigo, Via and Comet Mobility, LLC
A Coventry technology specialist and a US-based automated mobility strategy team is teaming up with two global giants to showcase how self-driving pods can be used to deliver smart, on-demand, automated and zero carbon ‘last mile mobility’ solutions.
Aurrigo, which employs over 80 people at its state-of-the-art engineering centre and three technical/sales offices in Australia, Canada and the US, has been working with US firms Comet Mobility and Via to equip three ‘Pod Zeros’ with the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology from a leading multinational technology specialist.
The Comet Mobility Experience, which is being part-funded by the UK’s Department for International Trade, Meridian and the Advanced Propulsion Centre, will be unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas tomorrow (8-11th) and will allow delegates to experience a 6 to 8-minute ride in an autonomous pod designed and built in the UK.
There will be three points of interest – the UK, New York and Las Vegas – and the riders will be asked to choose which location they want to go to first, allowing Pod Zero to make a realtime voice-activated decision about where to go, leveraging on-demand ridesharing technology developed by Via.
During the journey riders can ask questions about weather, destinations, the partners behind the project and discuss general knowledge or even ask the pod to tell it a joke, all using a specially crafted Artificial Intelligence platform. “This is the first time our autonomous pods have been equipped with the latest AI technology, which has been designed to learn more with less data,” explained Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director for Aurrigo, the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group. “The idea behind the project is to highlight how UK and US firms can collaborate to create a smart, automated and zero carbon ‘last mile mobility’ solution. Delegates will see how selfdriving pods can provide a practical, safe and enjoyable experience that is truly immersive and educational.”
He continued: “This technology is ideal for tourists, corporate users, shopping centres promoting the latest offers and even University campuses that are notoriously difficult to navigate. “Teaming up with Comet Mobility and aligning with Via is a major milestone for our business and highlights how far we have come with our autonomous pods and software platforms. CES is the biggest innovation show in the world and a fantastic showcase for this partnership.”
Three Pod Zeros have been built for use at CES, with one carrying the ‘GREAT’ Campaign branding to promote the UK and the other two carrying partner liveries. They seat up to four people, can travel at 15 mph and cover up to 60 miles on one charge, recently playing the lead role in UK Autodrive, the world’s largest multi-connected and autonomous vehicle demonstration. The UK’s International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The showcase of smart, automated vehicles at CES is the result of a groundbreaking transatlantic collaboration and I’m pleased my international economic department was able to help make it possible.
“Thanks to the work of trailblazing British companies like Aurrigo, the UK will remain at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero-emission, connected and autonomous vehicles, ensuring we seize the opportunities presented by the transformation of mobility.” Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Meridian, commented: “The UK is amongst the world leaders in the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Our exceptional R&D environment and strong ecosystem bring together best-of-breed capabilities across the AI, cyber-security and automotive sectors.
“Together with our international partners, the UK is driving the mobility revolution. Meridian has been delighted to work with our partners to bring the Comet Mobility Experience to life,showcasing the value of collaboration in delivering autonomous mobility to the real world.”
Matthew Lesh, Principal of Comet Mobility, concluded: “We are pleased to host the Aurrigo driverless pod demonstrations in the US for the first time and look forward to painting a vision of practical, on-demand, purpose-built, self-driving mobility. “Providing our partners with a platform to showcase their world-class technologies is an important step in deploying automated mobility.”
The Comet Mobility Experience will be hosted at the IBM stand (booth PL2), with demonstrations running from the morning of Tuesday 8th to midday on Friday 11th.
Notes to Editors:
Aurrigo is the autonomous vehicle division of Coventry-headquartered RDM Group, which is leading the world when it comes to ‘first and last mile’ self-driving transport solutions. It has over 25 years’ experience in providing automotive technology and transport solutions, designing and developing autonomous vehicles from the ground up using Aurrigo’s in-house autonomous software platform. The company employs over 80 people and currently has international offices in Australia, Canada and the United States.
Comet Mobility, LLC
Comet Mobility is “building the automated mobility future.” It develops, demonstrates, pilots and deploys purpose-built, accessible, shared, connected and automated vehicles for the mobility, and goods movement industries. Leveraging a wide array of enabling technologies, Comet Mobility provides vehicle platforms on which to gather data, provide new mobility choice, and assist in achieving environmental and sustainability goals of cities, communities, developments, public and private campuses, and resorts.
Via is re-engineering public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. First launched in New York City in September 2013, the Via platform currently operates in the United States, and in Europe through its joint venture with Mercedes-Benz the journey, visitors will interact with IBM Watson’s AI technology as they are routed around the 1,500 ft. Vans, ViaVan. Via’s technology is also deployed worldwide through partner projects with public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, and universities, seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure to provide the most cutting edge on-demand mobility innovation.
UK Department for International Trade (DIT)
The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has overall responsibility for promoting UK trade across the world and attracting foreign investment to our economy. We are a specialised government department with responsibility for negotiating international trade policy, supporting business, as well as delivering an outward-looking trade diplomacy strategy.
For more information, visit www.great.gov.uk.
Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)
The Advanced Propulsion Centre was born out of the collaboration between UK Government and the automotive industry to support the R&D of low carbon propulsion technologies in the UK through a matched investment of £1 billion – aiming to save 50 million tonnes of CO2 and safeguard or create 30,000 UK-jobs.
Meridian was created by government and industry to accelerate the development of the UK’s capabilities in the global connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) sector, which is predicted to be worth £907 billion by 2035. With the ultimate goal of making CAV implementations a reality and showcasing the UK’s expertise in the sector, Meridian supports vital areas including advanced development and validation, connected environments, data and cyber security and new service developments. Meridian has so far received an initial £133 million investment from government and industry to develop a coordinated national platform of CAV testing infrastructure through a wide ecosystem of partners.
For more information please visit: meridianmobility.tech