As part of Solihull Council’s exciting Low Carbon Future Mobility project, supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority, an innovative project is currently underway to look at how zero-carbon, autonomous vehicles could meet some of the Borough’s transport needs in the future.
A state-of-the-art self-driving shuttle will take to the roads around Birmingham Airport, transporting passengers, as part of ground-breaking trials getting underway in Solihull.
This is the latest phase in an exciting Council-led project which aims to test out how Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) might be integrated into the borough’s transport network in the future.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison visited ZF UK Hub – ZF’s global R&D facility in Solihull last month where she heard from senior ZF representatives and learn about their CAV Shuttle, as well as officers from SMBC about our plans to engage with partners.
In this latest deployment the shuttle will be used to transport passengers around a longer and much more complex route at Birmingham Airport while again interacting with other road users. The trial route will provide Airport staff with a new temporary service linking the Departures entrance and Diamond House to Car Park 5. For the purposes of testing, the shuttle will be limited to a top speed of 20mph. In line with current legislation a safety operator will be on-board at all times, who will have the ability to take control of the shuttle at any point if required. As well as airport staff the passenger trials will also be open to members of the public who want to experience one of the first fully self-driving shuttles in the UK. Visitors to the airport can book their ride by going to: www.solihull.gov.uk/cavtrials
The CAV will be running at Birmingham Airport over the next six weeks.
Last year, Solihull Council became the first local authority in the country to purchase its own fully electric autonomous shuttle using a grant from the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP). Designed and manufactured by Coventry’s Aurrigo, the futuristic looking Auto-Shuttle can carry up to ten passengers and uses a suite of sensors, including LiDAR, to understand its surroundings and move around safely. See image below: