Arrival completes successful parcel depot autonomous trial

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UK electric vehicle developer Arrival says its automated driving system has successfully completed a live demonstration at a fully functioning parcel depot. This is the first time an Arrival Van has maneuvered around a facility without a human driver inside the vehicle.

According to the company, the vehicle was able to autonomously complete all operations that are performed on a daily basis by a commercial fleet driver. Arrival has been developing its autonomous driving functionality for the Arrival Van, as part of Robopilot, a project designed to improve the market knowledge, functionality and public perception of autonomous driving systems. The technology can then be adapted for the planned rollout of all Arrival Vehicles including the Arrival Bus and Arrival Car.

“At Arrival, we are building supplementary technologies that will help drivers. Depot maneuvers 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 and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). Through the project, Arrival has been able to develop and test its own ADS, which uses in-house algorithms and hardware.

The company is developing a scalable commercial automated driving system (ADS), that relies on computer vision and is claimed to avoid the need for 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 successful completion of testing and validation of Arrival’s autonomous driving system in a fixed controlled environment, Arrival plans to begin testing its autonomous driving functionalities on roads in the UK.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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