Darwin and Telefónica meet the mayor to propose autonomous transport in Málaga

In December 2021, Darwin opened a Spanish office at the Technology Park of Andalusia, also known as Málaga TechPark. We’re delighted to have a presence at a powerfully innovative technology park in such a beautiful location.

In the same month, we had the honour of meeting Francisco de la Torre, the mayor of Málaga. Our co-founder, Daniela, visited Andalusia to speak to the mayor about establishing an autonomous passenger service in Málaga.

Also at the meeting were Joaquín Segovia, Director Territorial Sur at Telefónica, and two representatives of security services provider Telefónica Tech: María Jesús Almazor, Telefónica Tech’s CEO of Cybersecurity and Cloud, and Sergio de los Santos, Telefónica Tech’s Head of Innovation and Cybersecurity.

The autonomous vehicle in Málaga would be similar to the ESA-supported Darwin Autonomous Shuttle currently operating in Oxfordshire: a fully autonomous passenger shuttle, developed by Navya, travelling a predetermined route. It can carry up to 15 passengers, and its ability to react to changes in its environment enables it to share the road with ordinary traffic.

Similar Navya shuttles have already been used in an urban setting. If you’d like to see them in action, Navya has shared a video of its autonomous shuttles operating in the Swiss town of Sion.

Telefónica Tech has partnered with Darwin to tackle the subject of autonomous vehicle cybersecurity. As part of this partnership, Telefónica Tech’s cybersecurity experts will help to ensure that the shuttle is securely protected.

Mayor de la Torre was happy to support the project, having previously seen Málaga launch a self-driving bus in February 2021. It’s too early to say what route the Darwin shuttle will travel for certain, but the mayor suggested using it to connect two centres of culture: the Centre Pompidou Málaga and the Museo Ruso.

María Jesús Almazor believes that the shuttle project will help to demonstrate the possibilities of self-driving technology, and the importance of collaboration between the connectivity, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence industries.

Darwin is already working to register a shuttle for use in Málaga. For more about this project as it develops, keep an eye on our News page!

Darwin Innovation Group is an Oxfordshire-based R&D company focusing on autonomous vehicles and communications, both terrestrial and satellite. If you’d like to keep up with our articles, you can follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re interested in working with us, take a look at our careers page.

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