South Gloucestershire Council is helping to develop the innovation eco-system in the region by working closely with high-growth potential, scale-up SMEs and entrepreneurs to encourage and facilitate collaboration between small and large businesses, the University of the West of England (UWE) and other public sector partners. As a partner in four Innovate UK’s connected and autonomous vehicle R&D projects, the council is both a facilitator of testing and a broker between stakeholders. The council is building an R&D test network to enhance the research capability of our Innovation Corridor by connecting Bristol and Bath Science Park (BBSP) with UWE.
The Capri project is developing and testing a new type of public transport vehicle, a low speed automated shuttle, and the mobility services that these PODs can provide on car parks, campuses, and integrating with wider public transport. The project is investigating users’ experiences, the operational business case, the regulations, and the safety and security of such vehicles. Crucially Capri will be the first UK project to test ‘dual-mode’ PODs also on public roads. www.caprimobility.com
Not all vehicles are for moving people, freight transport makes a huge contribution to the economy. In the ROBOPILOT project a small all-electric van will be fully automated for local deliveries and tested safely in the north Bristol Innovation Corridor. Also involving work on safety and security (including cyber security), the objective is to deliver parcels on a fully autonomous 10-mile journey in all kinds of weather, and on various types of roads.