Lake District looks to the future with ‘driverless’ vehicles

Posted on: 27/04/2018

State-of-the-art self-driving vehicles are being considered as a sustainable transport alternative for the Lake District.

The Lake District National Park is the first National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site to take part in a feasibility study with Westfield Technology Group to explore new technologies which will allow people to access the National Park in an environmentally sustainable way, and automated ‘pods’ are being trialled as a potential solution. This is an Innovate UK-funded collaborative feasibility study between Westfield Technology Group and the Lake District National Park.

The driverless pods, which will be trialed on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April as part of the study, are electric self-driving vehicles. The pods use cutting edge technology, including sensors to detect road conditions and obstacles in the road, to transport people in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive at the Lake District National Park said:

“We’re constantly looking at new ways to balance the needs and enjoyment of people as they visit and move around the Lake District, whilst being mindful of the impact on the environment.

Driverless pods are a really interesting concept and while this is not necessarily something that will be seen on the Lake District streets soon, it’s vital we explore a range of solutions to sustainable travel.”


The pod will be being demonstrated on-site at Brockhole on Windermere, giving the public the opportunity to experience the vehicle first-hand and to share their thoughts on this sustainable transport type.

Julian Turner, Westfield Technology Group Chief Executive said:

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre really excited to be trialling the pods in the Lake District, which is such a popular tourist destination in the UK. Through this project we‚Äôre identifying possible routes for the pod and talking to the local community about how we could meet their transport needs. This collaborative effort will allow us to creative a sustainable and accessible transport mode for journeys in the future.”


The outcomes of the feasibility study, which is due to end in June, will inform whether this type of transport would be suitable in the Lake District and which routes would be viable for  vehicle travel.

This weekend people are invited to find out more about the driverless pods, experience one in action in the grounds, and share your feedback for the feasibility study; head to Brockhole on Windermere.

Full article is available here.

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