First trials of driverless vehicles get underway in Royal Borough of Greenwich
Government ministers will today launch the start of driverless car trials in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment project) is one of three projects chosen by the Government to deliver demonstrations of automated vehicles in urban environments. The trial officially gets underway at Greenwich Peninsula today, with Business Secretary Vince Cable and Transport Minister Claire Perry in attendance.
The GATEway project includes the testing of a fully driverless vehicle named the Meridian Shuttle, which will be evaluated in various scenarios over the next two years. This morning (Wednesday 11 Feb) it will take its inaugural journey at Greenwich Peninsula.
The GATEway project will test a number of important factors involved with using automated vehicles with the aim of putting the UK at the forefront of developing this type of transport technology.
Over the next two years the GATEway project will:
- Demonstrate automated transport systems in a range of environments
- Explore the legal and technical changes required to introduce automated vehicles
- Explore the reactions of both pedestrians, drivers and other road users to automated vehicles
The GATEway project is made up of a consortium of eleven members, led by TRL, the Transport Research Laboratory along with key partners including the Royal Borough of Greenwich, which is the location for the trials. Other key consortium members include RSA, the global insurer, who will be looking at how automated vehicles might impact the motor insurance market, Shell and Telefonica who will be learning how the technology might impact their sectors and the University of Greenwich who will be researching how people might interact with driverless vehicles.
Project lead Dr Nick Reed said: “The innovative GATEway project will help place the UK at the forefront of the rapidly emerging sector of research and development related to automated vehicles. Through the strengths of the consortium and the project location within Greenwich – at the heart of the UK’s only globally recognised megacity, we can start addressing the technical, societal and legal barriers to automated vehicles and create a world class, technology-agnostic testing environment to help deliver the future of urban mobility.”
Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said:” It’s thrilling to see these trials get underway in Greenwich, really cementing the area’s reputation as a place of innovation and investment. Greenwich Peninsula provides the ideal location for us to explore what this technology can offer people and how it will eventually be implemented in the real world. We’re proud here in Greenwich to be at the forefront of developing this technology. We offer the ideal setting for these trials; an expanding population, a complex urban environment and a variety of existing and expanding transport links – which will really tell us what we need to know about putting driverless vehicles into an urban setting”.
Transport Minister Claire Perry said:
“Driverless cars are the future. I want the UK to be open-minded and embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.
“The breadth of public and private sector involvement in the GATEway project is testament to the potential of driverless cars and how much we stand to gain from testing them further. I want to thank the Greenwich team for all the work they have done so far and I will be watching the trials with interest.”