RDM Group’s involvement in the UK’s first self-driving vehicle has seen it shortlisted for this year’s SMMT Automotive Award for Innovation.

The specialist Coventry manufacturer is playing a crucial role in the Transport Systems Catapult’s LUTZ Pathfinder project, which will trial three electric-powered ‘pods’ in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes.

Based on the Bilton Industrial Estate, the company has been involved in the ‘design and build’ of the driverless vehicle, which can seat two people and is capable of travelling 40 miles at a speed of up to 15mph.

The first pod was recently unveiled at a high profile event and is now at the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group for the installation of the autonomous vehicle technology.

David Keene, CEO of RDM Group, commented: “The SMMT Awards are extremely prestigious and we’re delighted that our pioneering work with the LUTZ Pathfinder project is being recognised.

“This competition is judged by automotive and technology experts and generates massive international exposure that – as a small manufacturer – could secure our involvement in future initiatives.”

Transport Systems Catapult CEO Steve Yianni added his support: “It is great news that the LUTZ Pathfinder project has been shortlisted for this award as it’s a fantastic example of UK innovation.

“We have combined cutting-edge British design and manufacturing, in the form of RDM Group, with the world-leading control system technology of Oxford’s MRG and are now working with Milton Keynes’ forward-thinking council to take self-driving vehicles out of the laboratory and into the real world.”

Now in its sixth year, the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) sets out to demonstrate the “wealth of talent that exists within the UK automotive sector”, with previous winners having included Jaguar Land Rover’s low-carbon Range_e vehicle, the Optare Versa EV electric bus and Ford’s EcoBoost engine.

Winners are due to be announced at London’s Grosvenor House on November 24th.

For more information on RDM Group, please visit www.rdmgroup.co.uk or follow @rdm_group_. More details on the LUTZ Pathfinder, please see the project page.