GATEway Project announces the next phase of driverless pod trials in Greenwich

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The GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) Project is soon to launch its open public trial of driverless pods, which will provide first- and last-mile transportation around London’s Greenwich Peninsula by connecting important transport hubs with business, leisure and residential locations.

The GATEway team has announced that for the next phase, commencing in the autumn, Fusion Processing will provide its CAVstar sensing and control equipment on the brand-new pods that are being built by Westfield Sportscars. The pods are based on the original Heathrow Airport platform pod design, and have been updated for use in first- and last-mile transportation operational environments.

In April this year, the GATEway Project provided over 100 members of the public an opportunity to ride in the first prototype driverless pod in Greenwich, powered by Oxbotica’s Selenium autonomous control system. In the next phase of the project, using Bristol-based Fusion Processing’s CAVstar autonomy system, the GATEway Project intends to transport hundreds more people with a fleet of new Westfield pods based at the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab in Greenwich.

This trial is one of a number of automated vehicle (AV) tests within the GATEway Project that are investigating public acceptance of autonomous transport within the urban mobility landscape. Other trials in the project include last-mile automated deliveries, which was tested in June, and autonomous valet parking, which is due to be tested later in 2017.

GATEway is an £8m (US$10.4m) research project, led by TRL and jointly funded by government and industry, to understand and overcome the technical, legal and societal challenges of implementing AVs in an urban environment.

“GATEway has always been focused on exploring public perception and understanding of driverless vehicles. With Fusion joining the team, GATEway is in a unique position to let the public interact with three very different autonomous control systems during our urban trials,” explained TRL’s Simon Tong, the technical lead on the project.

“Each of our autonomy providers, Fusion Processing, Oxbotica and Gobotix, are great British success stories, and together with Westfield, they represent the diversity of driverless expertise in the UK. We’re very grateful to Oxbotica for all they have contributed in helping us learn more about the complexities of operating a driverless pod in an urban environment. With Fusion, we look to build on all we have learned, so that GATEway can conclude with a trial that will engage as many people as possible.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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