UK/US – Coventry technology specialist Aurrigo and automated mobility expert Comet Mobility in the U.S. have teamed up with two global giants to showcase how self-driving pods can be used to deliver smart, on-demand, automated and zero carbon “last-mile mobility” solutions.
The Comet Mobility Experience, which is being part-funded by the UK’s Department for International Trade, Meridian and the Advanced Propulsion Centre, unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to allow delegates to experience a six to eight-minute ride in an autonomous pod.
Riders are asked to select a location (from three) they want to go to first, allowing Pod Zero to make a real-time, voice-activated decision on where to go, leveraging on-demand, ride-sharing technology developed by Via.
During the journey riders can ask questions about weather, destinations, the partners behind the project and discuss general knowledge or even ask the pod to tell it a joke, all using a specially crafted AI platform.
“This is the first time our autonomous pods have been equipped with the latest AI technology, which has been designed to learn more with less data,” explained Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director for Aurrigo, the autonomous vehicle division of the RDM Group. He went to say that this technology is ideal for tourists, corporate users, shopping centres promoting the latest offers and even university campuses that are notoriously difficult to navigate.
Three Pod Zeros have been built for use at CES, with one carrying the “GREAT” Campaign branding to promote the UK and the other two carrying partner liveries. They seat up to four people, can travel at 15 mph and cover up to 60 miles on one charge, recently playing the lead role in UK Autodrive, the world’s largest multi-connected and autonomous vehicle demonstration.
The UK’s International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The showcase of smart, automated vehicles at CES is the result of a groundbreaking transatlantic collaboration and I’m pleased my international economic department was able to help make it possible.
Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Meridian, commented: “Together with our international partners, the UK is driving the mobility revolution. Meridian has been delighted to work with our partners to bring the Comet Mobility Experience to life, showcasing the value of collaboration in delivering autonomous mobility to the real world.”