Aims of the project:

  • To use new and emerging technology to help address congestion within the city of Cambridge

The linking of transport hubs to large areas of employment using autonomous transport systems. Cambridge has a number of large business parks (Bio-med campus, Genome campus, science park etc) that have significant issues moving employees into and out of their sites. Very often the issue is linking the last part of the journey from a key transport hub to the site. The project looks to use autonomous vehicles to create this link. Initially the project will be using the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway a segregated transport corridor on which to run before expanding into other more complex environments.

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

  • Elected member buy in to the concept of using autonomous vehicles in the public transport mix – work with University to build a business case which demonstrates value
  • Integration into the current transport system – understand role and interaction with other modes and design systems to help integration
  • Supportive stakeholder ecosystem – worked with key stakeholders, Bio med campus, station operator, potential users to understand costs and benefits of AV systems.
  • User acceptance – begin to work with potential users to understand barriers to usage

Key success factors:

  • Building a collaborative eco-system
  • Identifying clearly the problem you want to solve and building a user designed solution
  • Built the business case with an academic partner bringing rigour to the process

Key learnings:

  • Difficult to innovate in an organisation that has risk averse decision makers
  • Need a solid evidence base

Organisation: Cambridgeshire County Council – Smart Cambridge programme

Delivery agents: Smart Cambridge, University of Cambridge RDM, Cubic, Wellcome Trust

How long has the project been operational:Approx. 2 Years

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: 1 year.

Funding: £4m. Greater Cambridge City Deal and Innovate UK

Share This