RDM Group brings its autonomous vehicle expertise to the US
RDM Group’s international expansion has gathered pace this week with news that it has
signed a collaborative agreement with one of the world’s largest design and consulting firms
for the built environment.
The Coventry-based manufacturing specialist has teamed up with Arup to pursue a number
of transportation and autonomous vehicle projects currently being discussed in the United
This collaboration follows a successful partnership in the United Kingdom where the two
companies – alongside other consortium partners – are working together to deliver UK
Autodrive, the largest of three current trials of automated vehicle technology in the country.
The trial includes a series of urban demonstrations on selected public roads and footpaths in
the host cities of Milton Keynes and Coventry and will also investigate other important
aspects of automated driving, such as safety, cyber-security, legal and insurance issues,
public acceptance and the potential business models for turning automated driving systems
into a widespread reality.
“The US offers us a massive opportunity to take the technology we have developed in the
UK and apply it to some of the country’s unique ‘first and last mile’ transport issues,” said
Miles Garner, Sales & Marketing Director at RDM.
“When we attended the Texas A&M Transportation Institute Technology Conference last
year, we met with leading figures in mobility services and they were clearly interested in the
work we were doing on our ‘Pod Zero’ range of autonomous vehicles. We realised then that
we needed a US base and we started to explore options, including making the most of our
existing relationship with Arup.”
RDM’s expansion to the Houston market will involve the recruitment of a dedicated
Programme Lead and leasing office space within Arup’s Houston office as a base for
developing new relationships. The Arup team will also provide technical expertise on new
Brian Raine, Principal and Houston Group Leader at Arup, welcomed the opportunity: “We
have collaborated with RDM Group globally and are excited to bring our combined
autonomous vehicle experience to North America.”
RDM Group’s Pod Zero has been hitting the global headlines after it completed its first public
trial at last year’s Low Carbon Vehicle show (LCV2016) in the UK.
It is currently built in two variants – four-seater and eight-seater – and offers an operating
speed up to 15 mph, multiple battery options up to eight hours or 50 miles, wheelchair
accessibility and air conditioning.
All the pods operate autonomously through multiple sensor technologies, including stereo
cameras, LiDARS (laser-based light detection and ranging sensors), odometry and
RDM will bring a demonstration driverless vehicle to the US to showcase the technology and
how it works. There are multiple places where it could be used as a first and last mile
transport solution, including shopping centres, airports, universities, theme parks and large
“Having a firm like Arup, with their strong international experience, collaborating with us on
this new venture is fantastic news as we look to become a global provider of autonomous
vehicle solutions,” concluded Miles.
The United States is the second international expansion for RDM Group, with the company
also boasting a sales and technical office at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.
For further information, please visit www.rdmgroup.co.uk or follow @rdm_group_ on