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UK first: Autonomous grocery delivery trials in Greenwich

Staff Writer |
The TRL-led GATEway Project together with Ocado Technology has completed the UK’s first trials of an autonomous CargoPod vehicle around the Berkeley Homes, Royal Arsenal Riverside development in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

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The real world trials see a self-driving delivery vehicle, called CargoPod, operating in a residential environment, delivering grocery orders to over one hundred customers.

Taking place in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab, the GATEway project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) is a world-leading research programme, led by TRL and funded by UK government and industry.

It aims to demonstrate the use of autonomous vehicles for "last mile" deliveries and mobility, seamlessly connecting existing distribution and transport hubs with residential and commercial areas using zero emission, low noise transport systems.

CargoPod, developed by Oxbotica as part of the GATEway Project, is guided by their state-of-the-art autonomy software system Selenium, which 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.

Uniquely, the focus of the study is both on the commercial opportunities of self-driving technology and how it functions alongside people in a residential environment.

This, the third of four trials with the GATEway Project, is exploring the public’s perceptions and understanding of driverless delivery vehicles.

Ocado Technology is using the trials to explore the logistics and practicalities of deploying self-driving vehicles as part of the last mile offering for the Ocado Smart Platform, an end-to-end solution for providing bricks and mortar grocery retailers around the world with a shortcut for moving online.

The GATEway project is supported by the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), a joint Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT) unit established to ensure the UK is at the forefront of testing and deploying connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

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