Driverless pods debut in Deutschland

Posted on 11 Nov 2016 by Fred Tongue

One of the UK’s autonomous vehicle specialists and TE Connectivity (TE), have joined forces to bring a driverless pod to Germany for the first time.

TE will be exhibiting at electronica 2016 where they will be showcasing one of the first prototypes of RDM Group’s ‘Pod Zero’. The pod has almost 100 different connectivity solutions, seats up to four people and reaches a top speed of 15mph off-highway and has a total operational distance of 60 miles between charges.

The companies have been working closely together to develop autonomous solutions designed to be accessible for everyone with first and last mile transport solutions.

David Keene, CEO of RDM Group, spoke about the news: “We have been working with TE Connectivity for many years, using their products within our wiring harnesses for our many automotive OEM customers. More recently, we have used their design expertise and technology to develop solutions for our driverless pods.

“These are now being built into the pods that you will soon be seeing in Milton Keynes and Coventry and this agreement at the show will extend the relationship so that we will use their products in our ‘Pod Zero’ range when it enters low to medium volume production.”

This is the vehicle being exhibited at electronica, and is available in two, four and eight seater options.
This is the vehicle being exhibited at electronica, and is available in two, four and eight seater options.

He continued: “And what a better way to announce it than by showcasing one of the pods at electronica, the first time it will have been seen in Germany.”

RDM’s ‘Pod Zero’ has been on a tour, which will take it to more than 1o countries over the next year.

One of the first prototypes is in Australia and is doing a tour of the country after exhibiting at the Intelligent Transportation Systems Congress in Melbourne before heading on to other major cities.

RDM Group is currently in talks with local authorities, airports, universities and others on becoming first adopters. This alone is estimated to be worth £20m and could involve production of up to 250 vehicles over the next 12 months.

David concluded: “RDM’s investment into developing our own pods – together with the complex autonomous control systems and advanced sensors that are required for safe operation – is really starting to pay off. We are on the verge of signing some very large contracts and expanding worldwide.”