News Update

Sunderland to Trial Self-driving Shuttles and Lorries

Feb 2023 | No Comment

The UK city of Sunderland has received £14m in funding to deploy self-driving shuttles and lorries.

The grants, part of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Connected and Automated Mobility programme, aim to help British companies seize early opportunities to develop experimental projects into offerings ready for the market.

The lorry rollout trial is part of Project V-Cal, being led by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and will see up to four zero-emission autonomous HGVs operate around the Nissan Sunderland site, on private roads where the vehicles will navigate traffic lights, roundabouts, and other road users.

The project is seen as a major step towards deploying the technology on public roads. The work, in partnership with Vantec, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK), StreetDrone, Nokia, Newcastle University, Angoka and Womble Bond Dickinson (UK), has been awarded £4m by government, matched by industry to a total £8m. The HGVs will operate without any personnel on board but will be monitored by a remote safety driver as backup.

The Sunderland Advanced Mobility Shuttle project will trial three self-driving zero emission Aurrigo Auto-Shuttles, which will transport passengers on public roads between Sunderland Interchange, the Sunderland Royal Hospital, and the University of Sunderland City Campus.

While safety drivers will always be onboard, the project will develop and demonstrate a cyber secure remote supervision protocol, an important step towards commercial deployment. The project has been awarded £3m by the government, matched by industry to a total £6m and is led by Sunderland City Council in partnership with Aurrigo, Stagecoach, Angoka, Newcastle University, Swansea University, and BAI Communications.

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