West Cambourne: Facilities boost as Cambourne extension agreements signed – 3 January 2018
Plans for 2,350 new homes and millions of pounds of new facilities at Cambourne have taken a major step forward, with the signing of key planning documents. See link:
Smart Cambridge – 27 February 2018
Cambridge wins £3.2million to develop one of the first autonomous shuttle services in the UK
Cambridge is on track to be the first city in the UK to have a ground-breaking autonomous shuttle service as part of its public transport network, after a successful bid for £3.2milllion of Government funding to develop trial vehicles.
Smart Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge Partnership have secured the multi-million grant from the Centre of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), delivered by Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency.
The successful bid came as a result of pioneering feasibility studies commissioned and funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership working with the University of Cambridge, as part of the GCP’s mission to find innovative solutions to improve the area’s transport networks.
The autonomous vehicles will be developed by Coventry-based engineering firm Aurrigo, the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group, which, at the GCP and Smart Cambridge’s invitation, ran a trial autonomous two-seater ‘pod’ in Cambridge last year.
The funding will be used to build and trial 10-15-seater autonomous vehicle shuttles to operate on the southern section of the existing guided busway, initially for an out-of-hours service, when ordinary buses aren’t running. The trial will pave the way for an autonomous shuttle service that will run in the early mornings, late evenings and during the weekends, filling the current void for shift workers, revellers and weekend shoppers. The initial service will run between Trumpington Park and Ride and Cambridge Station, via the strategically important Cambridge Biomedical Campus site including Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospital and leading life science companies such as Astra Zeneca
If successful, autonomous vehicles could then be rolled-out elsewhere round Greater Cambridge, for example to link some of the science and business campuses to each other or to rural travel hubs. The project is due to get underway later this year, with the prototype vehicles being tested in late summer 2019, and the first paying passengers stepping on board in summer 2020.
The significant second round CCAV-3 award was announced yesterday (Sunday 25 February) by Richard Harrington, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who said:
“Through these competitions, we are offering innovative businesses support to take their projects to the next level and help them achieve commercial success. The projects that we are nurturing mean that we are a step closer to securing our place as a world leader in self-driving vehicles.
“This significant investment is a mark of the innovation that is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. The development of new technologies is a cornerstone of the UK’s world-class science and research and will ensure that we deliver a Britain fit for the future by creating jobs and the skills needed to succeed.”
Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan, said: “The quality and commercial potential of these successful projects demonstrate how UK businesses are developing pioneering connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. The impact will benefit our thriving automotive industry and the economy as a whole.”