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Information session to showcase self-driving vehicles

The Orkney Research and Innovation Campus.

Folk are to be able to find out more about a pilot project exploring the use of autonomous — or self-driving — vehicles (AVs).

An information session is due to take place at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus in Stromness next week, Thursday, October 14.

The trial is one of four pilot projects running in the North Sea region as part of the Planning for Autonomous Vehicles (PAV) project, which will explore how autonomous vehicles could interact with existing modes of transport.

Folk will have the opportunity to learn more about the trials, see the vehicles that will be used and learn more about the potential applications of AV technologies.

The event takes place at ORIC — the former Stromness Primary School — from 4pm to 7pm and there is no need to book.

In Orkney, small AVs will undergo initial trials for logistics and freight purposes, such as the transport of general supplies, luggage, parcels, waste and other goods.

These AVs will move at walking pace and work is ongoing to identify a shortlist of potential routes and uses.

In a larger scale project in Inverness, an AV passenger service will be provided between Inverness Campus and Inverness Retail and Business Park. Safety is paramount and although the vehicle used will be capable of driving itself, a driver will be present at all times to take control if required.

Widespread use of self-driving vehicles is expected by next decade and the findings of the project will be used to determine how countries across Europe can effectively implement them – including considering how they fit in with green transport and spatial planning strategies, as well as likely socio-economic impacts.

Representatives from the project partners will be in attendance including HITRANS (the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership), More Work Less Carbon — a company based in Utrecht, Netherlands, who will supply the AVs — and Robert Gordon University.