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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

Driverless vehicles trialled on West Cambridge site

Professor John Miles from the Department of Engineering has been guiding a project looking at out-of-hours travel from city centres and employment sites

The University’s expertise in sustainable transport technology is advising on a West Cambridge Site trial of a fully electric Autonomous Vehicle.

Suitably sci-fi in appearance - prompting double takes from passers-by and offering a striking vision of the future - the 12-seater self-driving shuttle has been developed by engineering firm Aurrigo and Smart Cambridge, a workstream of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), under the guidance of the Department of Engineering’s Professor John Miles.

“It wasn’t so long ago that if you said ‘electric vehicles’, the first thing people thought of was a milk float,” said Professor Miles, Director of Research in Transitional Energy Strategies. “We didn’t want it to look like a milk float!

"Autonomous Vehicles are about encouraging people to get out of their cars and use public transport. Apart from the technical requirements you want to present something that’s comfortable and hopefully inspiring." Professor John Miles, Department of Engineering

​Professor Miles, whose work looks at transport energy, future transport systems, and pathways to a zero carbon future, helped bring the project partners together for the trial, which is investigating the technology’s potential to offer out-of-hours travel from city centres and employment sites as part of a public transport service.

Read the full University of Cambridge article.