Ideas sought for 'future proof' autonomous metro


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has selected three firms to develop ‘bold, innovative conceptual designs’ to help inform and potentially transform the delivery of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).

The three suppliers have been awarded contracts to develop their concepts in full for presenting to the combined authority in March.

It said the three designs will support the better understanding of how existing and emerging public transport modes, models and technologies could be applied to the CAM.


The successful suppliers are Dromos Technologies, Egis and Mott MacDonald.

Combined authority mayor James Palmer said: ‘This challenge is a test to the very best brains in the market to help pioneer what the CAM will look like and how it can best be delivered. I’m clear that we want the CAM to offer our region the kind of high-quality public transport normally reserved for the biggest cities.

'We can be a trailblazer for the future of transport in a smaller cities and their regions and there is no better place in the world to be a first-mover than Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Once again, we want this region to lead the way.'

Munich-based Dromos develops autonomous network transit (ANT) systems designed for medium to high-capacity urban passenger and freight traffic.

Egis has developed projects internationally in cities ranging from small to medium size conurbations to megacities and from inception studies to commissioning. It will be supported by 10Design Architects and other industry leaders in the field of autonomous public transport.

The combined authority described Mott MacDonald as ‘a global engineering, management and development consultancy with a proud 45-year association with Cambridge’

It said the conceptual design challenge ‘is not intended to find the conclusive delivery solution for CAM, but will offer important input and challenge in the development of the programme and build interest among suppliers more widely’.

Each supplier is also working with partners from a range of disciplines to develop the wide-ranging elements of the CAM solution.

The scope of the designs the suppliers will be expected to cover include:

  • The CAM vehicle: What type and size of proposed autonomous metro vehicles could be suitable, including considerations around guidance, operating systems and how it can be futureproofed against rapidly changing technology.
  • CAM infrastructure: What infrastructure the vehicle would run on, including the IT system and recommended approaches for their design, build, operation, safety assurance and maintenance.
  • Operations: How the CAM will run, and what the customer experience should be like.
  • Commercial relationships: Creative opportunities for revenue streams which will support the funding of the CAM.
  • The environment: Ensuring CAM is ‘world leading’ in protecting the environment.

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