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Harry the bus wants feedback

(LONDON)

Harry the bus wants to take you on a trip to see if you like it. This is reality for grown ups not the opening line to a children’s programme.

Minus a steering wheel or standard controls, Harry the shuttle bus – developed by Westfield Sportscars, Heathrow Enterprises and Oxbotica – is on the road looking for feedback.

The first fully automated bus in the UK, Harry is controlled by a cutting edge software system, called Selenium – developed by Oxbotica. The autonomous tech enables the bus to navigate and respond to real life situations.

These types of urban networks would help advance moves towards creating a zero emissions future for transport systems.

Dr Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica said: “We are excited to be finally moving into public trials and demonstrations of our Selenium autonomy software in this unique vehicle. Our previous demonstrations have leveraged vehicles with traditional steering wheels and foot pedals, and this vehicle represents an enormous step forward on our journey of implementing real world Mobility as a Service capability in an operational fleet which can ultimately run without human intervention. Greenwich is an ideal focus for these trials in urban pedestrianised environments and we hope to learn tremendously from how autonomous vehicles interact with pedestrians and cyclists in real-world settings.”

Part of the the GATEway Project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment), Harry navigates a 2km route around the Greenwich Peninsula. What makes this element of the GATEway Project unique, is it is designed to gain a sociological insight into how people feel about the service, rather than simply test the technology. Through interviews and via an interactive map, people can share their perceptions of the driverless landscape and what fears they have about it.

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