Coventry manufacturing firm RDM Group has given the first public demonstration of its full size driverless vehicle.
The company employs 65 people at its base in the heart of the city and is planning to use its debut at the CENEX LCV 2016 trade show to trial its Pod Zero vehicle in full autonomous mode.
Visitors to the show at the Millbrook Proving Ground will be able to see the vehicle move around a specially laid out track that is designed to showcase its versatility.
The demonstration drives represent a major breakthrough in the driverless technology sector and will put RDM in front of its rivals, both domestically and internationally, some of which are up to 10 times its size.
David Keene, who founded the company in 1993, commented: Itâs a massive moment for our business and in the UKâs desire to lead the way when it comes to driverless vehicle technology.
The company has invested millions of pounds in the technology and our team has created a vehicle which can operate in total âautonomousâ mode. This means that there is no driver or human controlling the vehicle, a UK first when it comes to âfirst and last mileâ transport solutions.
The firm recruited some of the leading experts in the industry to help develop the vehicle and a special version has been designed specifically for the show, which is transparent from the wheels up, therefore offering a perfect view of the inside.
The demonstration is expected to attract widespread interest as the company looks to commercialise the technology.
RDM has developed autonomous pods that will be available in two, four and eight seater variations and are targeted at city transport authorities, shopping centres, airports and academic campuses.
RDM can manufacture up to 200 of the pods a year at its Coventry manufacturing site and this capability could grow if demand for the vehicle materialises.