Driverless bus service planned for Belfast Harbour

It’s reported a scheme to introduce a driverless bus into Belfast Harbour could be revealed within weeks.

The Irish News says that, under the plan, passengers would be able travel from Translink’s Sydenham Halt all the way down Queen’s Road to the Catalyst building in vehicle without a driver.

Innovate UK, has been working with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles to invest £41.5 million in innovation projects.

A Belfast bid, led by Belfast Harbour and supported by a number of partners including BT, is among a number of pilot schemes across the UK bidding for a grant of between £200,000 and £2 million to progress the idea.

The newspaper quotes Paul Murnaghan, regional director of BT Enterprise in Northern Ireland, who confirmed the move in a sponsor’s address to the NI Chamber of Commerce president’s banquet in ICC Belfast, which was themed ‘Big Ideas’.

It says he told 800 guests: “Big ideas rarely present themselves like that in the beginning. Small ideas are really important too. The ‘what ifs?’, the ‘how could we’s?’ and the ‘why don’t we’s?’ are often the genesis of something much bigger. Big ideas can come from anywhere.

“And we’re delivering over the top use cases for tourism, smart city and ports, environmental, and transport and logistics customer, with none more exciting than this joint bid into Innovate UK for an autonomous vehicle trial.”

It’s understood a decision will be made in the next few weeks.

(File picture of the type of shuttle that could be used – Highways News)


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