Public to test driverless pods in Gateway Project autonomous vehicle trial

Members of the public are being invited to test a fleet of driverless pods as part of a major research project.

Over the next four weeks, visitors and residents at the Greenwich Peninsula will have the opportunity to engage with the new technology and share their experiences.

The trials mark the final phase of the Gateway Project, which is using a fleet of automated pods to understand public acceptance of, and attitudes towards, driverless vehicles.

The research has helped advance the UK’s position in the autonomous vehicles revolution through collaborations with developers Westfield Sportscars, Fusion Processing, Gobotix and Oxbotica.

Richard Cuerden, academy firector at TRL, said: “As we explore the future of mobility solutions, it is essential that we consider the experience and benefits delivered to the consumer.

“This is why understanding and exploring the public perception of automated services has always been at the heart of the Gateway Project.

“This Project is enabling us to discover how potential users of automated vehicles respond to them, in a real-world environment, so that the anticipated benefits to mobility can be maximised.

“We see driverless vehicles as a practical solution to delivering safe, clean, accessible and affordable mobility and we are proud to be part of creating our future transport system.”

Over the past five months, the Gateway pods have generated considerable interest as they have travelled around the Greenwich Peninsula undertaking the first phases of the trial.

“More than 5,000 people have already registered their interest in taking part in the final phase of the trial and will have priority booking for one of several journeys undertaken each day.

Although the Gateway vehicle is designed to operate without a human driver, a safety steward will remain on-board at all times, complying with the UK’s code of practice on autonomous vehicle testing.

Gateway is jointly funded by government and industry. The government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

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