Oxford, UK – StreetDrone, a leading developer of automated logistics technology, will take on a technology leadership role in the second stage of a project aimed at delivering connected and autonomous logistics (CAL). The project, which has received £84 million in funding for driverless technologies, has the goal of enabling commercially viable and scalable driver-out autonomous logistics for operators managing ports, airports, RDCs, and industrial sites, as well as for OEMs developing specialist vehicles for these environments.
The first phase of the project successfully demonstrated the autonomous and teleoperation of a 40-tonne truck with live loads. The truck was delivered from Vantec to Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK) fully autonomously without the need for a safety driver. The second stage of the project will build on this success by demonstrating scalability and full operational deployment in a complex industrial environment. Up to four zero-emission autonomous heavy-goods vehicles will be deployed on private roads, navigating traffic lights, roundabouts, and other road users.
The global freight industry moves 20 billion tonnes of cargo annually, including one billion container movements, making it a lucrative market for companies that can bring efficiencies to industrial logistics through autonomous vehicles. The automation of logistics also works in tandem with electrification, reducing emissions and addressing the shortage of skilled HGV drivers. Project V-CAL aims to validate these gains in a complex industrial logistics context in the short term.
StreetDrone will partner with Vantec, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK), Nokia, Newcastle University, Angoka, BP International Limited, and Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP to deliver Project V-CAL under the auspices of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA).
“In the first phase of the CAL project, we demonstrated that teleoperated and fully automated HGV deliveries could be deployed in a complex industrial context,” said Mike Potts, Co-Founder and CEO of StreetDrone. “With this new phase of work to scale driver-out deliveries into a viable service, we are keen to show that the benefits of autonomy can be achieved in the near-term for operators.”
Paul Butler, CEO at the NEAA, added, “The North East region is uniquely placed to develop, test, and commercialize CAL technologies. The logistics sector is strategically important to the North East and UK economy, and this provides an opportunity to build resilience in the sector and for the UK to take a leading role in the development and commercialization of CAL technologies.”