AV pilot progress in Inverness!
Great progress has been made on the HITRANS Inverness AV passenger pilot that will see a link between Inverness Campus and a nearby Retail and Business Park. Procurement for the vehicle was launched in October and has now concluded, awarding the contract to NAVYA. The trials are due to launch in Spring 2022 and will run for approximately 10 months before the project comes to an end.
The procurement for the AV operator will now commence, with the aim to be concluded by the end of February. One vehicle will operate on the route, offering up to 15 seats (11 seated plus 4 standing). The expectation is that the shuttle service would be used by students and people working on the Inverness Campus site to access the Shopping and Business Park throughout the day. In addition, tourists could use the shuttle during the summer months who might be staying in campus accommodation. Monitoring will be conducted throughout the pilot on various technological aspects as well as social impacts. The intention of the pilots is not only to test the viability of a route operated by an AV, but also to test the technology required to use AVs in combination with other transport modes and better understand user perceptions.
Our next steps are to work closely with NAVYA and local stakeholders to ensure all regulations are met and approvals obtained, organise meetings and public engagement events in the local area, and hold site meetings to ensure the vehicle can adapt to the route. Watch this space!
Separately, in Orkney, our AVs for logistics purposes have been trialled across Stromness, Papa Westray and Graemsay, with fantastic contribution and commitment from the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus, Papa Westray Community School and Graemsay Community Council to trial the vehicle in different scenarios. More information and photos of the robot arriving at Papay School can be found here: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/or/papay/2021/10/12/self-driving-max-the-robot-arrives-at-papay-school/
Learn more about HITRANS by visiting them here.