Darwin Autonomous Shuttle

Darwin Autonomous Shuttle

Service update: The Darwin Autonomous Shuttle will be unavailable from 1 February to 3 February inclusive, due to operators undergoing advanced ‘train the trainer’ training. This will enable our experienced current operators to become instructors for future CAV operators.

Autonomous vehicles have been discussed in theory for a very long time. Before they can become a widespread reality, we need to demonstrate how they work on a small scale.

To help move the UK towards the future of the road, we’re running a self-driving shuttle service at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.

About the Darwin Autonomous Shuttle

The Darwin Autonomous Shuttle was created by Navya, an experienced autonomous vehicle developer. Similar Navya shuttles have already been trialled at sites across the world, including Las Vegas, Monaco and Perth.

The shuttle uses LiDAR sensors, cameras, odometry sensors and a GNSS antenna to position itself and monitor its environment. It drives itself without active human involvement and will stop automatically if it detects an obstacle, without requiring the ‘thinking time’ of human drivers. There’s also a safety operator on board to keep an eye on things.

The shuttle is insured by Aviva. Darwin is sharing information about the shuttle’s operation with Aviva in order to help Aviva develop a comprehensive insurance package for autonomous vehicles.

About the autonomous shuttle service

The autonomous shuttle service operates at Harwell Science Campus during weekdays, morning to evening. It travels two routes, one along Fermi Avenue and one along Eighth Avenue, with the ESA building being the central stop for both routes. You can track the current position of the shuttle here.

You can ride the shuttle if you’re a Harwell Science and Innovation Campus pass-holder, or if you’re registered as a pass-holder’s guest for the day.

The shuttle service owes its existence to many organisations in addition to Darwin, Navya and Aviva. In particular, we’d like to thank ESA, UKSA, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, STFC, AWS, Virgin Media O2 and Hispasat.

What if I’d like to know more?

If you’d like to know more about the purpose of the trial, or about the safety measures in place, we have a page with more details on the Darwin Autonomous Shuttle.

Photo by Paul Proteasa