Secretary of state for Transport, The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP has today visited Milton Keynes based Innovation Centre Transport Systems Catapult to learn about the latest transport innovations being developed by the organisation. Patrick met with TSC CEO Steve Yianni and was introduced to technologies including social media sentiment mapping, virtual city planning and the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless vehicle.
The LUTZ Pathfinder autonomous vehicles trial is currently underway in the city. The trial involves up to three electric-powered “pods” operating on pedestrianised areas within the town centre. The pods will initially be driven in manual mode by a trained operator, whilst they gather data which will allow them to travel using their autonomous systems later in the trial.
Eventually it is hoped that vehicles like the LUTZ pods will form part of an integrated transport system based on Intelligent Mobility – which uses emerging technologies to create a smarter, green and more efficient way of moving people and goods. Nationally the government is investing more than £100 million to support the research and development of driverless car technologies.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“Autonomous and driverless cars have the potential to profoundly transform the way we travel, making journeys simpler, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly.
Transport Systems Catapult is helping Britain lead the way in developing the next generation of vehicles – and I was delighted to try out one of their pods in Milton Keynes.
This technology is closer than people think – and in these development labs they are making it a reality.”