Look, no hands:London's first driverless electric vans will deliver groceries to residents of Woolwich's Royal Arsenal development

During the trial the vans will have safety stewards on board to take control if anything goes wrong.

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Having your groceries delivered by self-driving van is the latest enticement for residents of Royal Arsenal, the former munitions factory in Woolwich that is being turned into a new waterfront neighbourhood.

The area already has a river bus service and the Docklands Light Railway — and next year Crossrail arrives. Now, online supermarket Ocado is operating a fleet of CargoPods across the development.

These electric driverless vans, the first in the capital, are being tested as part of a project with Transport for London to cut pollution and traffic congestion at big new housing schemes.

The idea is to cut out the “last mile” carbon use when lorries have to make short final deliveries.

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Look, no hands: safety stewards will sit inside the driverless CargoPods during the trial at Royal Arsenal

During the trial the vans will have safety stewards on board to take control if anything goes wrong.

The vans deliver eight boxes of groceries from a central depot to a collection point where residents, often busy young professionals employed in the City, can pick them up after they get home from work. The CargoPods can’t yet make door-to-door deliveries.

Royal Arsenal is maturing into an attractive address, with a new cultural quarter boasting a theatre and rehearsal studios alongside 20 listed buildings, new restaurants, bars and sleek riverfront flats. Homes start at £452,500. Call 020 8331 7130.


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