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Self-Driving Vehicles are coming to Taunton

20 September 2022 : Council news, Community, Environment

Taunton residents will have the opportunity to take a ride in cutting edge self-driving vehicles, as part of an innovative study lead by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), a joint Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy unit.

Taunton residents are invited to attend The Great Self Driving Exploration on Sunday 25 September and Tuesday 27 September at:
• Self-driving pod: 10:00 – 13:00, Vivary Park
• Self-driving shuttle: 14:00 -17:00, Somerset County Cricket Club, St James’ Street Entrance

Self-driving vehicles have the potential to make our journeys greener, more reliable, and safer.

The Great Self Driving Exploration roadshow in Taunton will allow residents a closer look at self-driving vehicles, ask questions, and even take a ride.

Self-driving vehicle technologies could help to improve everyone’s access to transport – wherever they live, whatever their income level, and whether they have a disability that currently limits their ability to access transport services.

We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to experience the technology themselves and to tell us what they think.

These trials will help inform on the specific needs and concerns of those living in the South-West to enable these to be embedded into the design of these new services.

This is also a great opportunity for people in Taunton to experience self-driving vehicles and share their views on how these new technologies could work for them, making sure their voices are heard at the most senior level of the Department for Transport.

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles are working with BritainThinks in delivering this event to the people of Taunton. The Auto-Shuttle and Auto-Pod vehicles will be provided by autonomous transport company Aurrigo.

A safety supervisor will always be on board, ready to take control should there be any requirement to do so and there will be people on hand to help answer any other questions you might have.

Lucy Bush, Research Director at BritainThinks said: “The BritainThinks team are delighted to be delivering this innovative research project in partnership with CCAV, UCL and Aurrigo.

"It offers a unique opportunity to understand not just what people think of self-driving vehicles as they are now, and also their hopes and expectations for the future.

"This will provide crucial insight to government and industry to support the development of self-driving technology that benefits everyone across the UK.”

Gordon Hollins, Somerset County Cricket Club CEO said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to host the trial here at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

"Somerset County Cricket Club prides itself on engaging with events of this innovative nature and we are really excited to witness the technology in action at the ground and around Taunton.”

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change said: “This is a really exciting event which will give people a chance to experience travelling in green self-driving vehicles in Taunton, as well as learning about the technology behind the project.

"This is very much about looking for real solutions which can help cut Co2 and make our town centres healthier and greener places to live and work in.”

Councillor Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate at Somerset West and Taunton Council, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to trial green transport options of the future, engaging the public in the development of innovative technology which could transform the way we travel.

"I am delighted that the CAV trial is coming to Taunton so that local people can experience self-driving vehicles first hand and have their say.”