Autonomous vehicle specialists StreetDrone has been confirmed as consortium member for 5G CAL – a project that will develop 5G connected and autonomous logistics capability at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland.
StreetDrone won funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to be part of a consortium tasked with delivering an autonomous logistics capability to Nissan’s Sunderland car plant.
The consortium includes Sunderland City Council, Newcastle University, Vantec, Coventry University, Connected Places Catapult, The North East Automotive Alliance and Perform Green.
The grant will be used to develop 5G connected and self-driving 40-tonne trucks capable of moving parts and assemblies between Nissan’s Sunderland manufacturing plant and local businesses contributing to the car maker’s just-in-time supply chain.
The proof-of-concept project at Nissan’s 800 acre site in Sunderland will assess how 5G connected and autonomous logistics operations can drive more efficiency into industrial supply chain operations.
5G CAL – or 5G connected and autonomous logistics – will require StreetDrone to develop both software and hardware spanning redundant braking systems; a driving robot capable of complex articulated truck manoeuvres in confined areas and the integration of driverless software with telematic control for remote fleet management.
StreetDrone chief executive Mike Potts, said that logistics could be one of the first commercially viable autonomous services and the 5G CAL project provides an ideal testbed for the roll-out of a UK-developed autonomous product.
“The reality is that autonomous cars are still many years from widespread adoption, however the technologies that we’ve already developed can be used in an industrial logistics setting and will quickly scale to many other similar contexts where reducing cost and increasing safety are critical factors in profitable operations.”