The electric vehicle innovator Arrival has completed a live demonstration of its driverless technology at a fully functioning parcel depot.
The company says this is the first time where an Arrival Van has manoeuvred around a facility without a human driver inside the vehicle, which was able to autonomously complete all operations that are performed on a daily basis by a commercial fleet driver.
Arrival says it has been developing its autonomous driving functionality for the Arrival Van, as part of the Robopilot, a project designed to improve the market knowledge, functionality, and public perception of autonomous driving systems. The technology then can be adapted for the planned rollout of all Arrival Vehicles including the Arrival Bus and Arrival Car. It adds that these technologies improve safety and efficiency in depots.
“At Arrival, we are building supplementary technologies that will help drivers. Depot manoeuvres are the most accident-prone parts of a worker’s shift and with our technology, we hope to introduce greater safety by removing human driving errors happening in confined environments,” said Max Kumskoy, Head of Advanced Driver Assistance and Automated Driving Systems, Arrival. “We are starting with a fixed controlled environment in the depot, where we are truly able to test and validate our technology. We can then understand how it will operate on public roads, in our vehicles, and how it can be implemented worldwide.”
Robopilot is part-funded by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). Through the project, Arrival explains it has been able to develop and test its own Automated Driving System which uses in-house algorithms, combined with hardware helping to fast-track the development of self-driving technology and showcase its capabilities. The company says it is now developing a scalable commercial Automated Driving System, that relies on computer vision and avoids expensive sensing technologies. Arrival is also making HD maps or high-precision GPS completely unnecessary for driving on public roads. Maps will be able to be used as an optional source of data when navigating in a fixed and controlled environment, such as a parcel depot.
Following the completion of testing and validation of Arrival’s autonomous driving system in a fixed controlled environment, it says it will begin testing its autonomous driving functionalities on roads in the UK. Arrival’s aim is for the application to be used in Arrival Vans, across the globe.
(Picture – Arrival)