Pioneering Driverless Technology: complete autonomy system for new LUTZ pods

11th February 2015

The UK is fast emerging as an international centre of expertise in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.  Professor Ingmar Posner, Pembroke Fellow in Engineering, co-leads the team at the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group which is part of the UK Autodrive Consortium. Today the government-backed Consortium unveiled its new LUTZ pod which will be tested on the streets of Milton Keynes later this year.

The LUTZ pods are being built by RDM Group, one of the UK’s fastest growing advanced engineering companies, and will be equipped with sensor and navigation technology provided by Professor Posner’s Mobile Robotics Group.

Announcing the trials, which also see other research groups rolling out test vehicles in Bristol and Greenwich, Transport Minister Claire Perry said “Driverless cars are the future. I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.”

The LUTZ trials in Milton Keynes are intended to identify the challenges of using this new technology to provide an effective and fully functioning public transport system in urban areas. Also today the government announced a review of legislation surrounding the use of autonomous vehicles on Britain’s roads as it prepares to address issues of safety and responsibility in preparation for anticipated widespread use coming about within the next two decades.

Professor Posner explains: “Our plan is to demonstrate autonomous pods operating in a public environment, and to build up to a point where all road users, as well as legislators, the police and insurance companies, are confident about how self-driving pods and autonomous cars can operate safely on roads and in pedestrianised environments.”

For more on this story visit the following websites:
Oxford Science Blog
Oxford Mobile Robotics Group
UK Department for Transport
The Guardian
BBC News
Channel 4 News

LUTZ pod (photo source Catapult)
LUTZ pod (photo source Catapult)