Transport Systems Catapult has just unveiled the first autonomous vehicle to run on UK public footpaths as part of a large scale project to test and produce driverless vehicles.
It is huge step in making the UK a world leader in driverless car technology.
The LUTZ Pathfinder is an electric-powered vehicle that can seat two people. It is designed to travel on both pavements and pedestrianized areas. It has a top speed of 15mph and can run for six hours on a single charge
The vehicles are produced by RDM Group, which is one of Britain’s fastest growing advanced engineering companies. It comes with sensor and navigation technology created by the University of Oxford’s Mobile Robotics Group.
Photo Credit: https://ts.catapult.org.uk/
Later this year a trial run of 40 Pathfinder pods will be carried out in Milton Keynes.
“Technology such as driverless vehicles, intelligent phone apps, and social media, will transform how we travel in the future – making journeys safer, faster, and more connected,” said Transport Systems Catapult CEO Steve Yianni.
“Through the LUTZ Pathfinder programme, the Transport Systems Catapult has pioneered the introduction of driverless pods in Milton Keynes and the first ever tests in the UK will take place later this year in a controlled public environment. The UK is at the forefront of this emerging new technology and poised to become the leading supplier of autonomous vehicles and systems around the world.”
“Safety is a key benefit of driverless technology, which is particularly relevant given the global trends of an increasing and ageing population.”
Transport Minister Claire Perry said:
“Driverless cars are the future. These are still early days but today is an important step. I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.”
UK authorities believe driverless technology will significantly reduce the number of road accidents, and help traffic flow more smoothly.