Richard Fairchild, Operations Director at Aurrigo tweeted “It’s fantastic to be recognised by Autocar for the work we’re doing in bringing autonomous vehicles to the public and to win the coveted Innovation Award this year. It’s also a huge congratulations to the dedicated team making all this happen. Onwards and upwards!”
The Autocar Awards celebrates the most impressive motoring achievements of the past 12 months and the people responsible for driving the industry forward. Their top accolade, the Issigonis Trophy, was awarded to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, for his phenomenal success at Volvo – which includes doubling annual car sales, raising its brand image to meet premium rivals and leading the agenda on electrification, safety and autonomous driving.
Coventry-based autonomous vehicle developer Aurrigo picked up the Innovation Award for its potential to have a significant impact on motoring in the future. Despite the relatively small size of its workforce, this British firm could have what it takes to compete with Uber and Waymo in the field of self-driving vehicle development.
“Focus on goals and learn fast – even if it means failing fast,” says Aurrigo boss David Keene when asked to summarise how his team of 30 men and women based in Coventry can take on the might of Waymo, Uber and every car manufacturer in the field of autonomous driving.
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“We’re a speedboat to their oil tanker and we have to use that agility,” he says. “We don’t have the budget to work to theoretical possibilities. We have to laser focus on realities. It’s why our autonomous vehicles have been real-world testing around the world already – in controlled environments such as airports to move luggage, and old people’s residential homes. Now we’re all ready to commercialise our products.”
While car makers might have bigger goals than developing autonomous baggage-handling dollies, it’s easy to imagine how such a business might scale up if the protocols being set by Aurrigo were adopted globally – and how they might be a stepping stone to achieving even more in the future.
“We have to be entrepreneurial to survive and thrive, and as we achieve success, we can reinvest – and attract investors, I hope – to grow our expertise,” says Keene. “We’re operating at the bleeding edge of technology against some mega rivals, but we feel we’re ahead, and that’s where we want to stay.
“Britain has always been famous for developing technology and then selling it to other countries to profit from. I don’t want to do that. I want to grow on our own merits, attract investment from the UK and then reinvest in what we have here. We believe the UK has the skills to lead the world in autonomy.”
Source : AUTOCAR