Eurovia UK is set to trial autonomous vehicle Kar-go to support urban and rural highway management.
First developed to reduce financial and environmental costs of last-mile delivery, Eurovia UK will use the technology to automate the delivery of small plant equipment, materials and tools to and from highway work sites, as well as the potential use of data collected by Kar-go as it travels, to determine the condition of roads.
The infrastructure firm will partner with Academy of Robotics for the project, helping the UK institute to scale their training of autonomous vehicles by providing access to digital camera data gathered by Eurovia’s fleet in the UK, which covers over 31,000 miles of roads.
Scott Wardrop, CEO of Eurovia, said: “We have reviewed a number of autonomous vehicle solutions, but a critical component for us in developing this partnership was the technology’s ability to manage the complexity of recognising different road surfaces and their absolute commitment to sustainable innovation – investing in the future. ”
Kar-go’s operating system is able to understand the difference between features such as cracks, puddles, potholes and shadows.
William Sachiti, CEO of Academy of Robotics, commented: “To date, most autonomous vehicle training and testing has taken place on well-marked roads or specially designated test centres, but these areas rarely reflect real-world conditions.
“We believe that training our vehicles to operate on the widest range of real-world conditions is critical to preparing them for the unpredictable elements vehicles may face in the ‘real world’. The AI can process the data at immense speeds, so one of the biggest challenges holding back this technology is the ability to get hold of enough data on diverse conditions to train vehicles at scale.”
The trial will initially focus on the UK, however due to Vinci’s global nature, the firm believes there is potential for international expansion in Europe and North America.