Driverless Deliveries Project for Nissan Sunderland Wins Support
Project to set up driverless deliveries for Nissan’s Sunderland plant wins support. The £4.8m project is one of six winning Government support to investigate uses of 5G technology.
A £4.8m project to set up driverless deliveries for parts to be used in Nissan’s massive Sunderland plant has won Government backing.
The 5C CAL project – which sees Nissan working with Sunderland City Council, automotive firms in the North East, and telecoms company Three – is one of six projects to win backing from a Government fund to investigate how 5G technology can be put to use by different business sectors.
The project will aim to set up autonomous 40-tonne trucks to distribute parts and assemblies across the Nissan plant, linking to many local SMEs in its supply chain.
It is hoped the project will improve productivity at the plant – already one of the most efficient car manufacturers in the world – and develop a global centre of excellence for Connected and Automated Logistics (CAL) in the North East.
Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “Automated last-mile logistics is one of the major innovation challenges, this is especially true in the automotive sector with its synchronous and highly complex supply chains.
“This project will prove last-mile delivery for an autonomous HGV, the 5G will uniquely enable the removal of the safety driver from the process, allowing remote teleoperations to overcome abnormal situations.
“Through our industrial base and the unique assets of our road transport sector the North East offers a globally unique location to support the design, development and manufacture of Connected and Automated Logistics solutions.
“This project represents a major opportunity to support and accelerate economic growth, creating an exemplar that will encourage further private and public sector investment.”
The Nissan project has won £2.4m Government funding and is one of six sharing £16.4m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Elsewhere projects in Preston, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton and Suffolk have received backing. These include AI-controlled traffic lights in Manchester designed to cut pollution and congestion, as well as the potential for 5G-powered remote music festivals to be trialed at the Brighton Dome.
Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure said: “We are helping innovative thinkers across Britain use their creativity to harness the power of 5G and boost economic productivity, cut pollution and congestion, and develop the next generation of entertainment.
“The new funding we are announcing today will help us pioneer new ways to seize the opportunities of 5G and bring tangible benefits for consumers and businesses across the country.”
The second set of projects to receive funding will be announced in the autumn.