Aurrigo, an autonomous vehicle company based out of Coventry in the UK, has been selected as a partner in the £4m Milton Keynes MK 5G Create project, and will manufacture and operate a ten-seater shuttle running a short autonomous route from Bletchley train station to MK Dons Stadium.
Aurrigo, which has already completed a successful driverless vehicle trial in the town, having previously delivered autonomous vehicles for the Welsh Open golf competition last year. For this trial, Aurrigo will join forces with Milton Keynes Council, MK Dons, BT and five other consortium partners to test out how 5G applications can create a world class visitor experience.
“This is another very exciting chance for Aurrigo to deploy our expertise here in the UK, showcasing our autonomous technology and allowing us to engage with the wider public,” explained Simon Brewerton, Chief Technical Officer at Aurrigo. “We have a fantastic opportunity with this project to integrate several cutting-edge technologies, including 5G cellular communications that allow guaranteed low data latency and available bandwidth, even when the stadium and retail park are bustling on match days.”
Shuttles and drones
The company will manufacture and operate a ten-seater shuttle running a short autonomous route from Bletchley train station to MK Dons Stadium, together with two pods operating around the retail park perimeter.
“5G allows data from our autonomous vehicles to be monitored remotely in real-time and enables safe and secure communications between multiple vehicles and the central control room, as well as direct communications with each other,” said Brewerton. “All of the vehicles are being manufactured in our state-of-the-art engineering centre in Coventry and we will have a dedicated team of 15 people producing them and then operating them on site.”
In what the company says is a world first, there will also be a driverless Security Pod, which will use tethered 5G drones to patrol and stream CCTV footage via 5G, direct to the security centre.
“There is also a lot of anticipation for the unmanned Security Pod that will provide protection and a ‘constant eye’ in the sky,” Brewerton said. “This is a world first and it’s great that we can potentially prove out a solution for businesses to improve and reduce their costs using automated security solutions.”
MK 5G Create is one of nine projects to receive funding as part of a £28.3million joint investment between Government and business to explore 5G uses cases and help British industries capitalise on the power of modern 5G technology.