Arriving straight from development workshops, the future of clean, green, ground breaking and economic road transport was revealed today in Hastings with the revolutionary GATEway driverless shuttle – a four wheel passenger pod, electrically powered and guided.
The first prototype of this revolutionary vehicle was unveiled at Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd’s Rail and Road Summit, attended by 200 delegates at Sussex Coast College and shown to Andrew Jones MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.
The shuttles, which can accommodate up to 6 passengers, are being manufactured for the GATEway project by Westfield Sportscars, supported by Oxbotica and Heathrow Enterprises, using entirely British engineering and software capabilities. The trials will aim to demonstrate the use of automated vehicles for what is termed last-mile mobility – seamlessly connecting residential locations, commercial areas and transport hubs by a zero emission, low noise, on-demand transport system. Research findings from the project could support the wider roll out of automated vehicle technology in all forms of surface transport, including cars, lorries and buses.
Amber Rudd MP commented: “It’s great to see new technologies being embraced, encouraged and promoted through innovative projects like GATEway, which are at the forefront of technical advance. British engineers are showing the way in this vital research to speed people transit with every aspect of green technology and low carbon footprint exploited to the full.”
Professor Nick Reed, Academy Director at TRL and GATEway Technical Lead comments: “The trials we will be conducting as part of the GATEway project will contribute to a radical and positive transformation in mobility for cities, both in the UK and globally. We want the public to be fully engaged with us on this exciting journey, so it’s great to be able to demonstrate one of the shuttles at the Road and Rail Summit here in Hastings.”
The GATEway project is an £8 million project jointly funded by Innovate UK and industry. Led by TRL, which has over 50 years’ of experience in vehicle automation, 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 several automated vehicle tests within the GATEway project, will investigate public acceptance of automated shuttle vehicles within the urban mobility landscape.