Arrival tests self driving tech in parcel depot

UK electric commercial vehicle startup Arrival has run a fully autonomous van demonstration at a parcel depot for the first time. According to the firm, this paves the way for testing to begin on UK roads.

As well as developing its electric vans, buses and a ride-hailing car, Arrival is developing its own automated driving system with support from the UK government Robopilot programme. Robopilot is aimed at funding the development of autonomous driving systems. Where other self-driving systems use expensive sensor systems, Arrival are using a cheaper system using computer vision, hardware and algorithm software.

The test was carried out at a fully functional parcel depot, where the van manoeuvred around the depot without a human driver aboard, completing all tasks that would normally be carried out by humans.

“At Arrival, we are building supplementary technologies that will help drivers,” says Max Kumskoy, Head of Advanced Driver Assistance and Automated Driving Systems at Arrival. “Depot maneuvers are the most accident-prone parts of a worker’s shift and with our technology, we hope to introduce greater safety by removing human driving errors happening in confined environments. We are starting with a fixed controlled environment in the depot, where we are truly able to test and validate our technology. We can then understand how it will operate on public roads, in our vehicles, and how it can be implemented worldwide.”

The first live road trial will be using a van with Level 4 self-driving technology but this will be further developed for trucks and buses.

“Arrival is playing a critical role in the UK innovation and transport sector by bringing together organisations from across technologies, skills, and services,” says UK Minister of Investment, Lord Grimstone. “It’s brilliant to see the projects being developed here picked up and exported around the world.”

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