While driverless cars of various types are receiving considerable attention we are still a little way from solving all the issues around lengthy journeys, interaction with other types of vehicles and replacing the freedom and flexibility of the car as we currently know it.
But the issue of transporting people from public transport hubs or parking locations to a variety of busy destinations looks like an easier problem to solve. We are talking about short distances, repetitive passenger trips and in many cases journeys over private land and environments that are easier to control, particularly with travel speeds required of less than 15 miles per hour.
Obvious contenders for driverless pod vehicles which can shuttle people relatively short distances are sites such as shopping centres, heritage venues, leisure facilities, airports and exhibition centres all of which often have a last leg that is tricky to negotiate, particularly for people who are not able to walk long distances.
Britain is at the forefront of driverless vehicle development and for example, recent trials have taken place in Milton Keynes running between the station and the Centre MK shopping complex and proved to be popular https://ts.catapult.org.uk/news-events-gallery/news/strong-local-support-for-self-driving-pods/. Large shopping centres by their nature are often very spread out with shopping and leisure under one roof so should provide a major opportunity for this new type of transport.
Multi-passenger driverless pods were also displayed for the first time at the Automechanika car show, at Birmingham’s NEC in June, 2016 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/revealed-next-generation-driverless-cars-8122152 , There is also considerable global interest which should translate into any millions of pounds worth of orders http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/we-want-make-driverless-pods-11371164
As specialists in destination marketing and communications, we are delighted to be marketing and building awareness of what may become an autonomous vehicle revolution.
Shopping centres and other venues who are interested in exploring the possibilities are welcome to contact LMMC for further details and advice.