With Nigerians having formed long-established communities in London and other industrial cities, the driverless pods serve as great news for the British-Nigerian who wants to see development in their backyard or the Nigerian traveler interested in viewing this technological project.
Using entirely British engineering and software capabilities, the three companies will develop pods capable of operating fully autonomously and safely on the streets of London, as part of the GATEway driverless car project in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The three companies, who have joined the GATEway project as consortium members, will be working together to develop the existing Ultra PODS currently in service at Heathrow Airport.
Operating at Terminal 5 for nearly five years, these battery operated pods have carried more than 1.5 million passengers, and eliminated the need for 700,000 bus journeys and their associated emissions on local roads to the airport.
Led by Westfield Sportcars, these pods will now be adapted to navigate the streets of Greenwich without the need for dedicated tracks.
The addition of the new consortium members brings a wealth of expertise to the GATEway project.
An innovative cloud-based shuttle management system will also be implemented, enabling the shuttles to operate as part of a synchronized, self-governing ecosystem, complete with smart phone booking applications, monitoring and reporting.
Steve Chambers, director of engineering at Heathrow said: “The GATEway Project is a fantastic opportunity to seize on the potential of our leading-edge ‘Ultra POD’ technology, which has already removed 70,000 bus journeys a year from Heathrow roads and the equivalent of 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.”
The GATEway project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) is an £8 million project.
The project will investigate public perception, reaction and engagement with a range of different types of automated vehicles.
The shuttle trial, which is one of three automated vehicle tests within the GATEway project, will investigate public acceptance of automated shuttle vehicles within the urban mobility landscape.
Other trials set to take place in the project include autonomous valet parking and automated deliveries.
(With Information from Breaking Travel News)