Autonomous vehicle specialist Aurrigo is set to bring its driverless technology back to Buckinghamshire for the £4m Milton Keynes MK 5G Create project.
The Coventry-based company will join forces with Milton Keynes Council, MK Dons football club, BT and five other consortium partners to test 5G applications in the creation of visitor experiences for users of the football stadium and surrounding campus facilities.
The company will manufacture and operate a ten-seater shuttle running a short autonomous route from Bletchley train station to MK Dons Stadium, along with two pods operating around the perimeter of a retail park.
In what is claimed to be a world-first, there will also be a driverless Security Pod equipped with a tethered drone patrolling and streaming CCTV footage over 5G to a security centre.
In a statement, Simon Brewerton, chief technical officer at Aurrigo said: “We have a fantastic opportunity with this project to integrate several cutting-edge technologies, including 5G cellular communications that allow guaranteed low data latency and available bandwidth, even when the stadium and retail park are bustling on match days.
“5G allows data from our autonomous vehicles to be monitored remotely in real-time and enables safe and secure communications between multiple vehicles and the central control room, as well as direct communications with each other.”
MK 5G Create is one of nine projects to receive funding as part of a £28.3m joint investment between government and business to explore how the country can take advantage of 5G.
Trials could start as early as the end of March 2021 and will run for just over a year, providing autonomous transport options for local people and visitors to the MK Dons campus.
It is expected that users will be able to use an app from Aurrigo to book a ride in the shuttle or pods.
“It’s great to be returning to Milton Keynes to showcase another type of autonomous transport in the form of our shuttles and how they can deliver an even more engaging rider experience through the power of 5G,” said Brewerton. “There is also a lot of anticipation for the unmanned Security Pod that will provide protection and a ‘constant eye’ in the sky. This is a world-first and it’s great that we can potentially prove out a solution for businesses to improve and reduce their costs using automated security solutions.”