Football fans heading to watch the Milton Keynes Dons will be able to ride to the ground from a local railway station in a driverless shuttle.
As part of the MK 5G Create project, the Coventry-based driverless vehicle maker Aurrigo is going to supply a ten-seater pod to take people from Bletchley Station to Stadium: MK.
There will be two more pods serving the nearby retail park.
In a world first, there will also be a driverless Security Pod equipped with a tethered drone patrolling and streaming CCTV footage over 5G direct to the security centre.
“This is another very exciting chance for Aurrigo to deploy our expertise here in the UK, showcasing our autonomous technology and allowing us to engage with the wider public,” explained Simon Brewerton, Chief Technical Officer at Aurrigo. “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.”
He continued: “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.
“All of the vehicles are being manufactured in our state-of-the-art engineering centre in Coventry and we will have a dedicated team of 15 people producing them and then operating them on site.”
MK 5G Create is one of nine projects to receive funding as part of a £28.3million joint investment between Government and business to explore how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help British industries capitalise on the power of modern technology.
Trials are dependent on Covid-19 restrictions but could start as early as the end of March 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 the new Aurrigo app to book a ride in the shuttle or pods.