A ground-breaking research programme which will trial three self-driving vehicles on pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes has won this year’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Automotive Award for Innovation.

The LUTZ Pathfinder project saw off competition from four other shortlisted contenders to pick up the prestigious trophy at the 99th SMMT Annual Dinner.

Self-driving pod wins national innovation award

Overseen by the Transport Systems Catapult on behalf of the UK Automotive Council, LUTZ Pathfinder is a collaborative project involving Coventry-based manufacturers RDM Group, the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) and Milton Keynes Council.

The three electric-powered pods will be used not only to trial the technology involved in operating self-driving vehicles, but also to assess public response to the pods in a real-world setting.

The first LUTZ Pathfinder pod is currently at Oxford MRG for the integration of the autonomous control system.

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University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science