The autonomous shuttle carried than 1,000 people in the trial in Cambridge
Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) technology and Vodafone’s 5G network is helping to progress the development of driverless vehicles in the UK.
The telecoms company and web services provider’s technologies helped to power the Aurriga autonomous pod in first- and last-mile trials in the city of Cambridge. The three Auto-Shuttles were equipped with AWS Wavelength and Vodafone’s distributed edge computing that provided the ultra-low latency and expansive bandwidth that guarantees high levels of performance and cyber resilience as the data is not exposed to the public internet.
Aurrigo describes it as an important breakthrough in the driverless vehicle arena and moves the company a step closer to removing the human safety supervisor from its pods and shuttles that are being tested and operated in more than five countries across the world.
“AWS Wavelength, Vodafone 5G and MEC technologies allow us to monitor our autonomous vehicles in real-time, via safe and secure communications,” said Simon Brewerton, chief technology officer, Aurrigo.
“The assured high bandwidth connectivity between multiple vehicles, the central control room and our servers, supports critical uses such as remote supervision and first-person video feeds.”
He continued: “This is a paradigm shift in reliability, speed and capacity compared with the previous connectivity we had access to, and we look forward to working with the two global leaders to really maximise the potential of their complementary technology on future trials.”
“This is a paradigm shift in reliability, speed and capacity compared with the previous connectivity we had access to”
The first- and last-mile trial in Cambridge – run in partnership with Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and Smart Cambridge – marked the first time in the UK a company had undertaken testing of a custom-made autonomous vehicle capable of carrying passengers on a main road surrounded by other traffic, including cars, lorries, vans, bikes and pedestrians.
Able to seat 10 people outside of social distancing restrictions, the three shuttles took passengers from the Madingley Road Park and Ride site to and around the University of Cambridge’s West Campus.
It was also the first time Aurrigo engineers had been able to tap into Vodafone’s distributed edge computing, which provides significantly better one-way latency of 25ms to 30ms compared to 70ms to 80ms with the normal cloud. Using Vodafone’s 4G and 5G also ensure that the three operating Auto-Shuttles received a guaranteed level of connectivity.
Brewerton added: “Low latency and high bandwidth combine to guarantee an exceptional level of performance from our shuttles and a back-end service that is seamless and connected.
“The power of Vodafone distributed edge computing and AWS Wavelength has been crucial to the success of the Cambridge trial and has given us confidence that we can move forward with more testing and the important next step of operating without a human supervisor.”
Aurrigo’s Cambridge trial came to a close at the end of June when it transported its last public passengers. Over the course of the project, more than 1,000 people have experienced an autonomous journey on a public road shared with other traffic, with feedback set to be used to develop future transport solutions for the historical city.
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