Greenwich Automated Transport Environment

GATEway is an £8 million project funded by industry and Innovate UK and led by TRL. Based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, it comprises a team of leading companies and academic institutions. It is a technology-agnostic programme of automated vehicle research and test criteria development that enables industry, government and society to gain critical knowledge, safely accelerate innovation and deliver smart city integration.

Project Aims:

Demonstrate the safe and efficient integration of sophisticated automated transport systems into complex real world smart city environments, relevant in the UK and worldwide and delivered by a diverse, sector-leading consortium.

Understand technical, cultural, societal and legal challenges and barriers to adoption based on direct user experience of cutting edge system operation and use.

Inspire industry, public bodies and the wider public to engage with existing cutting edge autonomous transport technology which can improve mobility choices, integrate within the smart city environment and generate new economic activity.

Generate valuable, exploitable knowledge of the systems required for the effective validation, deployment, management and integration of automated transport within the smart city environment.

Create a multifaceted, validated, long term test bed in the heart of the UK’s only globally recognised megacity for the evaluation of the next generation of automated transport systems including the detailed testing protocols and benchmark data to provide robust independent verification of automated system.

Capitalise on the consortium strengths to position UK PLC at the forefront of the global marketplace encouraging inward investment and job creation


Shuttle Doors Open


Greenwich is the global reference point for time and navigation through the historic links to the Royal Observatory and as the location of the Prime Meridian. Greenwich is a complex, rapidly growing and high profile urban environment with an advanced smart cities programme. The project has critical support from the Royal Borough of Greenwich with the GATEway project base in the Council’s Digital Greenwich Innovation Centre near the O2 Arena. The London location, as the UK’s only globally recognised megacity, provides a test environment that will provide ‘real-world’ applications for driverless vehicles. It will ensure the results of this high profile project will:

  • Have the greatest international reach;
  • Accelerate the take-up of driverless cars technology in the UK and beyond;
  • Raise awareness of the potential of driverless cars to the public industry;
  • Identify challenges and best they can be overcome;
  • Address related issues such as security, urban design and planning for driverless vehicles in areas

GATEway is….

About understanding the perception and acceptance of automated vehicles.

It is not about developing new technologies – it is about improving our understanding of the public and industry perception and acceptance of automated vehicles through a series of demonstrations and a comprehensive programme of user engagement.

Delivering a programme of public trials to understand the technical, cultural, societal and legal challenges to automated vehicles. 

GATEway will see three public trials of zero emission, automated vehicles. The first will be automated shuttle transport on the Greenwich peninsula. The second will be autonomous valet parking of cars, enabling users to exit their vehicle while it finds a specified parking space autonomously. The third trial is to be defined based on the findings from the other trials and feedback from stakeholders.

Technology agnostic, leading to the development of a validated automated vehicle test bed. 

The GATEway project is not tied to particular technologies but is about creating a safe and validated test environment in which vehicle manufacturers and technology providers can develop, assess and bench-mark their automated vehicles, driving job creation and investment into the UK in a rapidly emerging technology area.

Led by TRL.

The GATEway consortium is led by TRL (the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory). TRL is a world leading provider of evidence-based mobility solutions and has been working on the development of automated vehicles for more than fifty years. TRL is leading three of the six project work packages and providing support for the others.

Being delivered by leading multinational organisations.

The consortium includes three well-known, international companies: RSA Insurance Group, Shell and Telefónica. Each will contribute world class expertise to the project and will build an understanding as to how automated vehicles may influence their business models.

Creating an acclaimed evidence base through internationally renowned research organisations

In addition to expertise from TRL in the safe and effective delivery of on-road and simulator research, the consortium includes the Royal College of Art that will lead on stakeholder engagement; the University of Greenwich that will study pedestrian interaction with automated vehicles and Imperial College, London that will review cybersecurity issues.

Supporting the growth of three small UK-based companies.

The advanced automated vehicle technology to be used in the trial is to be provided by Oxbotica. Commonplace will use innovative network-based tools to collect and interpret the live subjective views of participants. Support for the delivery of remote vehicle operation and automation will be provided by GOBOTiX, a start-up company founded by engineers from University of Oxford.

Determining critical issues around risk, liability and cybersecurity with automated vehicles.

Through RSA Insurance Group, the project will investigate the issues of risk around automated vehicles and in particular seek to understand and clarify liability in the event of a collision. Imperial College London will be investigating the cybersecurity threats that may emerge from the development of connected, automated vehicles.

Guided by a broad, high calibre advisory group.

Beyond the main consortium, the GATEway has an advisory group that will meet three times over the life of the two year project. The group will review study plans and deliverables providing input as to how optimise the project from their own perspectives. It is to be chaired by Lord Borwick of Hawkshead who has led debates in the House of Lords on vehicle automation and includes representatives from the police, road safety organisations, vehicle manufacturers, road operators and public authorities.

Investigating the wider implications of automated vehicles.

TRL’s high fidelity driving simulator, DigiCar will be used in conjunction with an accurate 3D model of the Greenwich peninsula to investigate driver behaviour in the presence of vehicle automation. The SCOOT traffic management software developed by TRL will be updated to take into account the behaviour of and communications with automated vehicles. The project will also demonstrate teleoperation – the remote operation of a vehicle. This may be necessary re-establish fully automated operation of a driverless vehicle that encounters a challenging situation.

Learn more about the project at


Transport Research Laboratory | Royal Borough of Greenwich | RSA | Shell | Telefonica | University of Greenwich | Imperial College London | Commonplace | Gobotix