Aurrigo hosts UK’s first rural self-driving trial

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British autonomous technology company Aurrigo has held a four-day trial of its self-driving vehicles at Alnwick Castle as part of a major new study.

Led by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and consultancy BritainThinks, the ‘Great Self Driving Exploration’ project saw Aurrigo reveal its Auto-Deliver vehicle for the first time at the historic site in Northumberland.

The static display, held on the 19 and 20 June, gave locals the chance to explore the self-driving ‘grocery delivery’ vehicle, which is designed to change the way essential items are transported and received.

The vehicle completes multi-drops using password/QR-protected compartments, making them suitable for serving housing estates, university campuses or business parks.

Aurrigo used the trial at Alnwick Castle to debut its Auto-Deliver model (pictured right)

The project marks the first time self-driving vehicles have been trialled in rural communities and saw Aurrigo’s Auto-Shuttle and Auto-Pod models also in operation.

Auto-Pod carried up to two passengers on a shared 500m path that connects Alnwick Gardens to Alnwick Castle, while Auto-Shuttle took a 1.2km (0.7-mile) route between the bus station and the castle, with live traffic and pedestrians, and carried up to six passengers at a time.

Both self-driving vehicles use a suite of sensors to understand their surroundings and are electric-powered.

Ricky Raines, operations manager at Aurrigo, said: “We believe these types of first- and last-mile transport is key to supporting people with mobility issues and this event will be extremely useful in helping understand how individuals in rural locations feel about self-driving technology and any changes that can be made to enhance the user experience.”

Aurrigo is currently completing other passenger trials in the UK.

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