Online supermarket giant Ocado has just completed the UK’s first trials of an autonomous delivery van around London homes.
It’s part of the TRL-led GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) Project, which is funded by the UK government and industry. Partners for this project are Ocado Technology (a division of Ocado).
Called the CargoPod and developed by Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle operated in a residential environment, delivering grocery orders to over one hundred customers around the Berkeley Homes, Royal Arsenal Riverside development in the Royal Borough of Greenwich
The GATEway project takes part in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab. The objective is “…to demonstrate the use of autonomous vehicles for ‘last mile’ deliveries and mobility, seamlessly connecting existing distribution and transport hubs with residential and commercial areas using zero emission, low noise transport systems.”
The CargoPod is guided by their state-of-the-art autonomy software system Selenium. This enables real-time, accurate navigation, planning and perception in dynamic environments. The vehicle is able to carry a total of 128kg of groceries at a time.
CEO of Oxbotica Graeme Smith said: “Last mile delivery is a growing challenge as our cities become denser and more congested. In this new project we are working closely with Ocado Technology to deploy our Selenium autonomy system into a novel last-mile delivery application in Greenwich as a part of the GATEway project. This is truly a UK success story about CCAV and Innovate UK enabling a young British company to become established and to be able to demonstrate mature world-class technology capabilities within a real-life dense urban environment.”
David Sharp Head of 10x department at Ocado Technology said: “Ocado Technology is delighted to have worked in partnership with the GATEway Project to a complete a very successful grocery delivery trial using driverless vehicles. We are always looking to come up with unique, innovative solutions to the real-world challenge of delivering groceries in densely-populated urban environments. This project is part of the on-going journey to be at the edge of what is practical and offer our Ocado Smart Platform customers new and exciting solutions for last mile deliveries.”