Self-driving software developer Oxa and Austria-headquartered commercial vehicle maker eVersum have partnered to roll out a driverless shuttle in Belfast.
Together the two companies are producing self-driving shuttles that will roam the Belfast Harbour Estate’s Innovation District and tourist sites.
Each shuttle can transport 20 seated people and will be required to have a human safety operator. Shuttles are scheduled to depart from Belfast Harbour in 2025.
“With eVersum, we can deploy passenger-carrying autonomous shuttle fleets almost anywhere and these flexible forms of transport will become widespread as a way of moving people and goods in a safer, more efficient and faster way,” said Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxa.
The Harlander project was given the green light in February after it was delivered an £11m package from Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles.
Jackson added: “The broader rollout of self-driving vehicles is starting and shuttling can lead the way as the fastest evolving commercial arena for Oxa self-driving technology to make its mark internationally.”
Vehicles with hands-free driving features were permitted in geofenced areas of motorways in the UK earlier this year.
The government’s timeline is to have fully driveless vehicles on UK roads by 2025.
On Tuesday King Charles III outlined the government’s legislative framework for autonomous vehicles in his speech.