The UK has started testing autonomous capsules for passenger transport. These novel vehicles are being tested in the city of Bristol by AECOM, which is working with various partners, including the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, to develop autonomous vehicles.
The capsules use radar, different sensors and a computer vision system to move within crowded areas and different obstacles. It will be the first test open to the public in which the vehicle will move without human intervention. One of the objectives is to evaluate the reaction of people when they move in a completely autonomous vehicle.
The tests will take place at the Cribbs Causeway shopping center in Gloucestershire, and will take place between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM every day for a week, transporting passengers to the compound and shared pedestrian spaces.
The project, called CAPRI, is led by a consortium of companies and academic institutions that hope to introduce this type of transport system on the streets of the UK.
The CAPRI consortium has received £ 35 million (about € 41 million) from the Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), the government department created to support the first CAV market.
It is not the first time that these types of autonomous electric vehicles have been tested on British soil. The CAPRI project, however, is different in that it proposes a truly driverless solution, approaching, for the first time, a truly autonomous public transport service.
It is an interesting solution, although certainly not the only one. Many companies are developing autonomous transport services to make getting around cities easier. For example, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where Volkswagen will provide a 100% electric, fully autonomous and driverless urban transport service. Or in Turin, where they are already testing their own autonomous electric transport on a university campus .
More information: caprimobility.com