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RDM Group wins self-driving vehicle manufacture contract

ABR Staff Writer Published 15 May 2014

UK-based engineering service provider RDM Group has secured a contract to build unmanned vehicles from the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC).

The company has been appointed as the manufacturing partner for the futuristic Low Caron Urban Transport Zone (LUTZ) Pathfinder project, which will see electric powered pods used in Milton Keynes in 2015..

Under the contract, which follows an open OJEU tender process, the company will build electric powered self-driving vehicles.

The contract will test the use of two-seater electric powered pods for daily transportation.

RDM will now collaborate with the Oxford University's Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) to create three test vehicles, which will carry two passengers and offer a top speed of about 7mph.

RDM Group CEO David Keene said the LUTZ Pathfinder project represents an opportunity for the company to showcase its technical abilities in advanced vehicle design, development and build to both a UK and global audience.

"We have invested heavily in attracting the right people with skills in advanced electronics, software development, mobile apps and vehicle engineering and all of these attributes will be brought into play to make sure this ambitious vision becomes reality," Keene added.

RDM will manufacture the pods at its new £400,000 engineering center in Coventry and plans to complete production of the first vehicle by the end of 2014.

Oxford University robotics experts will then install their technology in the vehicle and begin test-track trials in early 2015.

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

"The appointment of RDM Group as the manufacturers of the pods is obviously a major milestone for the project and I am very happy to welcome the company on board," Fulton added.