Manufacturer chosen for autonomous vehicle trial

Autonomous electric vehicles that are set for trials in Milton Keynes next year are to be manufactured by Coventry’s RDM Group.

The company was selected by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), which is managing the Low Carbon Urban Transport Zone (LUTZ) Pathfinder project, a scheme aiming to demonstrate the potential of autonomous vehicles, cloud-enabled mobility and transport on-demand services.

RDM Group will now work with Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) to create the three test vehicles, which will carry up to two passengers and reach a top speed of approximately 7mph whilst travelling on the pavements of Milton Keynes.

In a statement, David Keene, CEO at RDM Group said: ‘The LUTZ Pathfinder project represents an opportunity for us to showcase our technical abilities in advanced vehicle design, development and build to both a UK and global audience.’

RDM will undertake the manufacture of the pods at its new £400,000 advanced engineering centre in Coventry and is planning to complete the first vehicle by the end of this year.

This will allow the Oxford University team to install their technology and begin test-track trials in early 2015.

Once these are completed, the pods will be ready for manned-testing in public on the pavements of Milton Keynes, transporting passengers around the town.

‘The LUTZ Pathfinder project will redefine how people think of ‘driving’, and therefore fits in perfectly with our mission to promote UK business growth in the field of intelligent mobility,’ said Neil Fulton, programme director at Transport Systems Catapult.