The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) in the UK has successfully tested its self-driving vehicles in public for the first time. This demonstration marked the conclusion of the LUTZ Pathfinder project, which has been developing the technology for the past 18 months.
Selenium, the autonomy software running the vehicle, was developed by Oxford University’s Oxford Robotics Institute and integrated by Oxford University spin-off company Oxbotica onto an electric vehicle. Selenium uses data from cameras and lidar systems to navigate its way around the environment.
The test runs took place on pavements around the train station and business district of the UK town of Milton Keynes. In the future it is expected that vehicles like these will be used for local transportation in urban areas.
Neil Fulton, program director at the TSC explained, “This public demonstration represents a major milestone for autonomous vehicles in the UK and the culmination of an extensive project involving UK companies and experts. Oxford University’s technology will go on to power automated vehicles around the world and the LUTZ Pathfinder project will now feed into a much wider program of autonomous trials across the UK.”
Following the trial, the TSC’s Automated Transport Systems team will continue to research the challenges and promote the benefits of increased automation in transport.
“Through the LUTZ Pathfinder project we have started to create a world leading urban testbed for connected and automated vehicles. We can now capitalize on the unique position of having the environment and the development platform to conduct further research and trials,” Fulton commented.
“To that end we have started work building an automated vehicle test and integration facility, which will enable other UK universities and SMEs to work with the Catapult on new self-driving technology.”
October 18, 2016