Royal seal of approval for innovative manufacturer

RDM’s Miles Garner showcases the company’s driverless pod to Prince William

Coventry-based autonomous vehicle pioneer, RDM Group has received the Royal seal of approval for its innovative work from the Duke of Cambridge.

Prince William spoke to representatives from the firm when he attended the 50th birthday celebrations of Milton Keynes, where the driverless pod developed by RDM is shortly due to undergo real-world trials.

The Duke met with sales and marketing director Miles Garner, who showed him around the four-seater pod that is fitted with the company’s own autonomous control system and travels 60 miles on one charge and can do a maximum speed of 15mph.

Prince William also took the opportunity to sit in the driverless vehicle and enquired about where the UK sat in relation to the rest of the world with this technology.

“This is a major honour for us and the first time we have ever had Royalty in our pods,” said Mr Garner.

“The Duke of Cambridge was intrigued with the technology and where they could potentially be used. We also spoke about the fact we both have daughters called Charlotte and by the time his was the same age as mine is now, driverless vehicles will be a common feature in our towns and cities.”

Initial trials of the pods are due to begin in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes later this year, with up to 40 pods set to be deployed across the town centre by the end of the project next summer.

UK Autodrive, which is responsible for the project, will also be trialling autonomous and connected road-based cars on the streets of both Milton Keynes and Coventry.