Two years ago GATEway unveiled the first wave of driverless shuttles that would hit Greenwich for testing. Last year those trials were opened up to the public, allowing people to apply for a ride - the only problem being that there were over 5,000 applicants and a mere 100 spaces. For the many people who did miss out, there's some good news: you could get anther chance to grab a ride for yourself.
GATEway has announced that the public are being invited to come and test the mini shuttles, with the initial 5,000 applicants being offered priority booking if they're still interested in having a go. This is the final phase of GATEway's trial, set to take place over the next four weeks, and is designed to gauge the public's interest in (and acceptance of) autonomous vehicles.
That data collected has then been analysed by TRL, The University of Greenwich, Commonplace, and the Royal College of Art, with TRL Academy Director Richard Cuerden saying:
"As we explore the future of mobility solutions, it is essential that we consider the experience and benefits delivered to the consumer. This is why understanding and exploring the public perception of automated services has always been at the heart of the GATEway Project.
This Project is enabling us to discover how potential users of automated vehicles respond to them, in a real-world environment, so that the anticipated benefits to mobility can be maximised. We see driverless vehicles as a practical solution to delivering safe, clean, accessible and affordable mobility and we are proud to be part of creating our future transport system.”
If you didn't apply to be part of the trial before, you're not out of luck. GATEway is offering a series of "drop-in sessions" where people can turn up and ask to take a turn. The slots haven't been announced yet, but GATEway says information will be made available on both its website and Twitter account.
This final phase of testing will involve travelling a 3.4km route around the Greenwich Peninsula. Naturally, being autonomous, the car will use its own sensors to navigate and avoid any obstacles it comes across.