This is the Lutz Pathfinder, the UK’s first driverless car. Stop laughing.
Unveiled today in Greenwich, it’s been built and designed by Coventry’s RDM Group, as part of the Autodrive project. Forty of the vehicles, designed to help shoppers, the elderly and commuters travel short distances, will be tested in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes later this year.
Large enough to accommodate two passengers with luggage, the Lutz Pathfinder is powered by a computer sat behind its seats as powerful as two high-end gaming PCs. Twenty two sensors (including panoramic cameras, radar and laser imaging) allow the Lutz Pathfinder to understand the world around it and navigate it.
The cars have a range of 64km/h, with enough juice to last eight hours of continuous travel, maxing out at top speeds of just under 25km/h. A smartphone app will allow would-be passengers to hail the vehicles for a ride, too.
The Lutz Pod’s unveiling is accompanied today by UK government plans to conduct a major review of the rules currently governing the roads in order to accommodate driverless cars in the future. This may include significant changes to the Highway Code and MOT services. [YouTube]