Location
Belfast, United Kingdom

In a significant stride towards sustainable and autonomous transportation, Belfast Harbour is set to introduce zero-carbon, autonomous shuttles for passenger transport from early 2025. This groundbreaking initiative is the result of a collaboration between Oxa (formerly Oxbotica), a specialist in self-driving software, and eVersum, an expert in electric commercial vehicles and passenger transport solutions. The Harlander Project, a pivotal component of Belfast's sustainable transport plan, addresses the projected increase in visitor numbers, with current figures of over 3.6 million predicted to surge to more than 5.6 million by 2035. The initiative, supported by the UK government with a total budget of £11 million, aims to provide a blueprint for future autonomous public transport networks, fostering safer, more efficient, and flexible mobility solutions.

Key Points:

  • Autonomous Shuttle Deployment: Zero-carbon, autonomous shuttles are scheduled to commence passenger operations in Belfast Harbour from early 2025.

  • Collaboration and Expertise: Oxa and eVersum are pooling their expertise to deliver these autonomous shuttles, combining Oxa's self-driving software with eVersum's automotive-grade hardware.

  • Capacity and Route: Each shuttle, with a capacity of up to 40 passengers, will navigate the Innovation District in Belfast Harbour Estate, encompassing attractions like the Titanic Belfast exhibition.

  • Harlander Project: A vital element of Belfast's sustainable transport plan, the Harlander Project addresses the anticipated surge in visitor numbers, reaching over 5.6 million by 2035.

  • Government Support: The Harlander Project enjoys support from the UK government, with a total budget of £11 million, partially funded by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

  • Partnership Benefits: The collaboration between Oxa and eVersum aims to efficiently deploy autonomous shuttle fleets at scale, with modular and customizable solutions.

  • Vehicle Design: The eVersum e-shuttle, designed for contemporary mobility needs, features low noise, emission technology, and accessibility. Each shuttle will have a human safety operator on board.

  • Rollout Plan: The project's phased rollout involves a closed operation phase in the first quarter of 2025 before opening to passengers.

This ambitious project not only represents a technological leap in autonomous transportation but also serves as a strategic model for future public transport networks, emphasizing safety, efficiency, and adaptability in the ever-evolving landscape of urban mobility.

​​​​​​​See more: https://www.smartcitiesworld.net/connected-and-autonomous-vehicles/belfast-harbour-to-roll-out-self-driving-shuttles-in-2025-9589