A great day out for Aurrigo as it takes its self-driving cars to Northumberland

Alnwick Castle (Action 2)[2]

Autonomous technology automotive company Aurrigo headed to Northumberland last weekend to trial its self-driving vehicles at Alnwick Castle.

The trial is part of a major new study by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), and insight and strategy consultancy Britain Thinks.

Local residents were able to take a closer look at the vehicles, ask questions and even enjoy a ride.

These trials are the first time that self-driving vehicles have been tested in rural communities and say the company’s Auto-Pod carry up to two passengers on a shared 500 metre path that connects the castle and gardens.

Aurrigo’s Auto-Shuttle, which can hold up to six people for this trial, was also operating, taking people from the bus station to the castle – a 1.2 km route shared with cars, bikes and pedestrians.

Both self-driving vehicles used sensors to understand their surroundings and are electrically-powered.

Ricky Raines, Operations Manager at Aurrigo, said: “It’s great to be showcasing our technology in such a beautiful location and the feedback we have received will be important in future development.

“We believe these types of first and last miles transport is key to supporting people with mobility issues and this event will be will be extremely useful in helping understand how individuals in rural locations feel about self-driving technology.”

Mark Brassell, director of The Alnwick Garden, added: “We are thrilled to be hosting The Great Self Drive Exploration. The event offered a fantastic opportunity for people to trial the vehicles themselves and learn more about the future of self-driving vehicle and their potential role in enhancing current transport provisions.”