23 January 2017

New base Down Under for UK autonomous vehicle company

A Coventry-based leader in autonomous vehicles has invested in its first overseas facility in a bid to further tap into a market that is estimated to be worth $90 billion by 2020.

RDM Group has opened a technical office at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. The new office will be responsible for the purchasing, sales and technology support as the firm expands into Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

The company’s revolutionary ‘Pod Zero’, manufactured at its site in Coventry, hit the headlines around the world after completing its first completely autonomous trial at the Cenex show in 2016. With a top speed of 15mph, an operational range of 60 miles and four- and eight-seater variants, Pod Zero has been attracting the attention of theme parks, shopping centres and airports globally.

“The Australian automotive sector has seen a difficult period in recent years, with many major OEMs deciding to close operations and move elsewhere,” said Roger van der Lee, newly appointed autonomous programme director at RDM, who will be heading up the firm’s new Australian operations. “This has left a void and I believe that we are in an ideal position to create a new modern industry around the development of autonomous vehicles.”

“Our Pod Zero vehicle has been generating a lot of interest Down Under and we have been in discussions with a number of end users that are willing to take part in trials to prove that it is an excellent ‘first and last mile’ transport solution,” added David Keene, CEO of RDM Group. “With this in mind, we feel the opportunity deserves a local presence and we are delighted to have taken a technical office at Flinders University.”

Chris Beck

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