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UK’s first autonomous grocery delivery trials take place

Thursday 29 June 2017, By Autovolo

 UK’s first autonomous grocery delivery trials take place

UK’s first autonomous grocery delivery trials take place

First trials of autonomous grocery deliveries have taken place in Greenwich.

The trials have been led by Ocado Technology, a division of the online supermarket, and have seen a self-driving vehicle deliver grocery orders to over 100 people in Berkley Homes, Greenwich.

The vehicle, named Cargopod, makes use of latest autonomous technology in order to navigate through ever-changing environments. It is limited to a top speed of just 5mph, however it can carry 128kg of groceries at once.

Claire Perry, business minister, said: “The UK has a rich history in the automotive sector, and through our modern Industrial Strategy the country is on the verge of leading the world in self-driving technology and the industrial opportunities it brings.
“The GATEway project takes us another step closer to seeing self-driving vehicles on UK roads, and has the potential to reduce congestion in urban areas while reducing emissions. Backed by government, this project firmly establishes the UK as a global centre for developing self-driving innovation.”

These trials form part of the GATEway Project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment), led by the Transport Research Laboratory and funded by the UK government. The initial findings from the research should lead to a further roll out of autonomous vehicles. 

Simon Tong, principal research scientist for TRL, said: “The GATEway project is unique in that it considers the effect of automated vehicles on the movement of goods as well as the movement of people.”

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