A self-driving shuttle bus is to be trialled in Milton Keynes as part of a Europe-wide research project.

The LivingLAPT project, funded by EIT Urban Mobility and led by University College London (UCL), uses five sensors and seven cameras to create a 360-degree view around a 15-passenger vehicle to help it navigate safely on public roads.

The trial follows similar work in Prague and Brno in the Czech Republic in 2023 and in Helmond in the Netherlands, Hasselt in Belgium, Kongberg in Norway and Ricany in the Czech Republic in 2022.

However in Milton Keynes the electric shuttle, named Aurrigo, will navigate multiple stops and carriageways for a far longer period than in those locations, starting with a 25-minute, city centre loop, connecting Santander’s new UK head offices at Unity Place with centre:mk, the theatre district and Station Square.

The shuttle, which will have an operator on board able to take control at any time, will be monitored by UCL whose research team will be in Milton Keynes talking to users.

Cllr Jennifer Wilson-Marklew, cabinet member for climate action and sustainability, said: “Once again, Milton Keynes is at the forefront of a new, sustainable technology trial.

“We’ve proven again and again that the city is a brilliant destination for technology leaders to develop their plans into real world solutions. This important research into self-driving vehicles on public roads is creating a template for cities around the world to follow. We’ll work alongside University College London to ensure everyone benefits from the data they gather.”

The research project will also involve a new autonomous delivery shuttle being tested at Stadium MK.  That vehicle, around the size of a small car, will take deliveries around the stadium site over a two-week period in November. It can interact with an external ordering system to fulfil orders without a human operator.

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