Pilot Partner 5 – RDM
RDM group leads the way in the production of autonomous vehicles within the L-SATS (Low-Speed Autonomous Transport System) sector. Specialist designers, engineers and electronic experts are currently working on delivering the UK’s first driverless vehicles that can be used on public pavements, streets and on private land. This will enable future driving to be free from fuel, emissions, accidents and opens up new transport opportunities for local authorities plagued by congestion issues. These striking pods can also be customised to house more passengers and suit other applications, including:
- Eco towns & villages
- Golf courses
- Heritage sites
- Holiday parks
- Shopping centres
- Smart cities
- University campuses
RDM works with project partners, from initial design and prototyping, through to testing and assembly. Its advanced Engineering Centre in Coventry is also capable of small to medium volume production.
The Drive-in, Driver-in-the-loop, multi-axis driving simulator (3xD), simulator in WMG that will be used in INTACT, developed following an award of £3.2 million by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Currently situated in the International Manufacturing Centre, it will permanently move to the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) in 2017. It will be the world’s first immersive, simulated environment for smart and connected vehicles which includes full emulation of wireless communications – the simulator will be a centrepiece as part of NAIC’s Virtual Reality centre. It will provide a unique platform for innovation and technology creation. The simulator will be a key facility for researchers working on autonomous, smart and connected vehicles.
Pods require trust from users – they must be safe, secure and robust. This requires extensive testing and validation. However, testing on public roads and in real-world driving situations would be very expensive, unrepeatable and potentially dangerous. The INTACT project will use a novel simulator concept to enable the evaluation of the Pod in a safe, repeatable and scientifically rigorous environment. RDM, the UK’s only designer and manufacturer of driverless Pods, and University of Warwick will work together to enable the broader uptake of Pods, help inform the legislative framework for the UK and eventual certification of autonomous vehicles, and show the UK as a leader of research into autonomous vehicles.