Heathrow is collaborating with Westfield Sportscars, and Oxbotica (the spin-out from Oxford University’s internationally acclaimed Mobile Robotics Group) to develop new automated pods which will be available for public trials this coming summer.
Heathrow is collaborating with Westfield Sportscars, and Oxbotica (the spin-out from Oxford University’s internationally acclaimed Mobile Robotics Group) to develop new automated pods which will be available for public trials this coming summer. These companies will work together as part of the GATEway driverless car project in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to develop pods which are capable of operating entirely autonomously and safely on the streets of London, improving the area’s sustainability. Sustainability has been at the forefront of Heathrow Airport’s agenda for a long time, the project will build upon the existing Ultra PODS which have been used at Terminal 5 for almost 5 years. These battery operated pods produce zero emissions and have transported more than 1.5 million passengers, saving on 700,000 bus journeys and helping the airport save the equivalent of 213 tonnes of CO2. Each company will bring a wealth of experience to the project and a different skill set. The vehicle software engineering will be handled by Heathrow Enterprises. Westfield will be responsible for integrating and manufacturing the pods but also for the design and testing of the vehicles while Oxbotica will use a vertically integrated autonomy solution involving mapping, localisation, perception and trajectory planning which will allow the fully driverless shuttles to operate safely on the streets of Greenwich. The pods will also make use of an innovative cloud-based shuttle management system to allow for integrated bookings, monitoring and reporting. It is hoped that the driverless car model is one that cities worldwide will adopt in the future in a bid to improve their sustainability. The project also aims to strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in autonomous technologies. Read more about our Heathrow Airport project