16 Mar 2023

Driving ahead

A self-driving shuttle service that will run between a hospital and a university is being built and trialled in a £6 million project. The Sunderland Advanced Mobility Shuttle (SAMS) scheme will develop three zero-emission vehicles.

The service will carry passengers between the city’s interchange, Sunderland Royal Hospital and the University of Sunderland City Campus. A safety driver will be on board during the journeys and if the trial is successful, a sustainable commercial service could be launched next year.

Liz St Louis, Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, told Government Transformation Magazine: “Connected and Automated Vehicles will provide huge social, industrial and economic benefits across the world and we’re hugely optimistic about a technology-fuelled future.”

The project is one of seven UK self-driving initiatives that have been awarded a share of £84 million in government and industry funding. Autonomous vehicles could play a major role in transport systems of tomorrow by cutting the number of road collisions and improving access for people with mobility issues or those living in remote communities.

Find out more about the project

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