Capri: public trials on-demand driverless pods

March 2020

Capri: public trials on-demand driverless pods

Capri, an AECOM-led consortium, is returning to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to give members of the public another chance to test out an innovative autonomous mobility service. The final trial, which will take place from the 9th to the 20th of March, will be the first in the UK to test an ‘on-demand’ driverless connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) in an open public environment. Part of the trial will also take place on a private road near the park to assess how the pods and passengers react when they’re on-road.

The Capri pods will pick up and drop off passengers at stops around the Park, passing Lee Valley VeloPark, Hockey & Tennis Centre and Timber Lodge Café. Members of the public will be able to book this free service through our marshals at each stop.

Building upon previous Capri trials at the Park and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, this final trial will test the pod in both a shared space environment and on a road adjacent to the park. This will present new technical challenges such as interacting with traffic lights and managing the physical transition between the park environment and faster road.

The Capri trial will operate without a safety steward inside the vehicle on the pedestrianised areas of the Park – allowing members of the public to turn up and travel alone in the autonomous pod. Remote engineers will monitor safety from a distance. This will demonstrate extended capability over previous public CAV trials and further the research and understanding in public behaviours and attitudes towards and within autonomous pods. The learnings will deepen understanding of how electric autonomous shuttle services can be commercially viable and how they can support carbon reduction at individual sites and across a larger region.

The forthcoming trial at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will help build a platform for further development and positioning outside the project to help progress with the evidence and research needed for driverless shuttles whilst exploring future feasibility. Local schools will also be participating, with two engagement days taking place to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities.

David Barwell, Chief Executive – UK and Ireland, AECOM, said: “Bringing together a range of technical, social and operational research, this final trial at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a significant step forward in the implementation of future CAVs. The research gained from the trial will not only contribute to the future deployment of autonomous vehicles but also enable AECOM and its partners to carefully assess the requirements needed in various locations to meet the needs of local communities.”

To learn more and see the March 2020 test schedule, click here.

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