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Greenwich launches self driving delivery trial

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Autonomous grocery deliveries are now being trialled for the first time in the UK as part of the TRL-led GATEway project in London’s Royal Borough of Greenwich.

A 10 day real world trial in partnership with Ocado Technology launched this week and involves a self driving ‘CargoPod’ vehicle operating in a residential environment – delivering groceries to over 100 customers.

CargoPod has been developed by Oxbotica and is guided by ‘Selenium’ autonomy software. This enables real time, accurate navigation, planning and perception in dynamic environments. The pod is able to carry a total of 128kg of groceries at a time.

The focus of the trials is on both the commercial opportunities of self driving technology and how it functions alongside people in a residential environment.

“This trial with Ocado Technology provides an ideal platform to help us understand how and where these vehicles could best operate and whether people would accept, trust and like them as an automated delivery service in the city,” said TRL’s technical lead for the GATEway project Simon Tong.

“We envisage that cities could benefit massively if deliveries could be made by quiet, zero emission, automated vehicles when congestion is minimal.”

Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities at the Royal Borough of Greenwich Sizwe James said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich is one of the UK’s leaders in smart city innovation and we are proud to be working alongside our partners to be at the forefront in this new age of driverless technology.

“We are gaining new insights into how connected and autonomous vehicles, including automated light delivery vehicles, will impact on the city and what cities need to do to capture the opportunities they can bring.”