• The deal gives British AI startup, Academy of Robotics, access to one of the broadest sets of varied data on UK roads to train its Kar-go self-driving operating systems and provides Eurovia UK with ‘smart’ solutions for improved highways management

Academy of Robotics and Eurovia UK announced plans for a national partnership to trial the use of Kar-go’s autonomous vehicle technology to support urban and rural highway management and to accelerate the “training” of Kar-go to navigate on unmarked roads in the UK.

Academy of Robotics is the startup behind Kar-go, Europe’s first road-based autonomous delivery vehicle. Originally developed to dramatically reduce both the financial and environmental costs of last-mile parcel delivery, Eurovia UK recognised its potential for use in infrastructure and urban development work and is keen to test the Kar-go technology to automate the delivery of small plant equipment, tools, materials and other components to and from a highway work site as well as the potential use of data collected by Kar-go as it travels, to determine the condition of roads.

Eurovia UK, a leading specialist in operating, maintaining and improving road, highway and public realm infrastructure will help Academy of Robotics to scale their training of autonomous vehicles. This will be enabled by accessing digital camera data gathered by Eurovia’s fleet in the UK, which covers over 50,000 kms of UK roads.

The trial will initially focus on the UK, but as a global business operating in 15 countries, the deal offers significant potential for international expansion in Europe and North America.

Understanding hazards – shadows vs. potholes
Through their unique approach to colour perception, Academy of Robotics have been able to address the challenge of environmental variability and ‘noise’ caused by shadows and bright reflections meaning that Kar-go’s operating system is already able to understand the difference between features such as cracks, puddles, potholes and shadows.