LUTZ Pathfinder

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The two-seater prototype pod has been built by Coventry-based RDM Group, and was first shown to the public in February 2015.

The LUTZ (Low-carbon Urban Transport Zone)[1] Pathfinder pod is part of the UK Government's Transport Systems Catapult Autodrive project, a GB£20 million project.[2]

Three pods were tested initially in Milton Keynes during 2015 to ensure that they can comply with the Highway Code. A further trial, with a four seat vehicle developed from the LUTZ, commenced along a guided busway near Cambridge for possible use in an after hours service.[3]

Specification[edit]

The pod is a two-seater electric car with space for luggage. It has a limited top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) and has a range of 40 miles (64 km) or can run for eight hours. The self-driving equipment includes 19 sensors, cameras, radar and Lidar. Users can hail them by using a smartphone app.[4]

The autonomous control software is developed by Mobile Robotics Group from University of Oxford.[5]

Partners[edit]

The Lutz Pathfinder pod has been developed by the UK Automotive Council, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and RDM Group.

Public trials[edit]

The first trial of autonomous operation on a public road, with pedestrians, cycles and other vehicles, was conducted in Milton Keynes on 11 October 2016. The vehicles "operated as expected."[6]

In October 2017 a trial service, using a four-seat vehicle, between Trumpington Park and Ride and Cambridge railway station along the guided busway, for possible use in an after hours service. The £250,000 project was part funded by Innovate UK and delivered in partnership with Connecting Cambridgeshire and the Smart Cambridge Programme.[3] If the trial is successful a ten seat vehicle will be used in routine service.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Graeme (30 May 2014). "Midland firm chosen to make UK first driverless cars". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Burn-Callander, Rebecca (11 February 2015). "This is the Lutz pod, the UK's first driverless car". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Trials begin of driverless pods that could be used alongside night buses in Cambridge (but they'll only travel at 15mph)". October 24, 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Jane, Wakefield (11 February 2015). "Driverless car review launched by UK government". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Olson, Parmy (18 February 2016). "The Powerful Brain Behind Driverless Fleets Is Already Being Built". Forbes. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Davis, Rob (12 October 2016). "Driverless car passes first public test in UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Driverless robot 'pods' take to the Cambridge guided busway". October 18, 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 

External links[edit]