A Coventry manufacturing specialist is playing the largest role in the world’s first ever multi connected and autonomous vehicle demonstration this week and is now targeting its share of a £900million marketplace.
Aurrigo, which employs 81 people at its advanced engineering centre and trio of international offices, is using its whale of Pod Zeros to showcase an autonomous first/last mile transport solution in Coventry and Milton Keynes.
It marks the culmination of the UK Autodrive project, which was created with the aim of establishing the UK as a global hub for the development of autonomous vehicle technology.
The company has used the programme to develop its autonomous control systems and to refine the design of its pods, creating a state-of-the-art production line at its facility in the West Midlands.
It has also sealed two international distribution agreements with partners in Singapore and Vietnam to start selling its vehicles into Asia.
“Being involved as the lead partner in UK Autodrive has transformed our business and given us the opportunity to test our technology alongside some of the world’s largest manufacturers in Jaguar Land Rover, TATA and Ford,” explained Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group.
“The trials in Milton Keynes have proved we have advanced autonomous technology that works in a live public environment and pods that can provide that crucial first and last mile transport solution for towns and cities throughout the world.”
He continued: “We need to take advantage of being first to market and we are already in discussions with a number of potential customers to take our pods for use on University campuses, theme parks, shopping malls and retirement villages.
“The potential is huge and we are projecting a substantial increase in turnover that could run to tens of millions over the next three years.”
Aurrigo supplied two pods for the first demonstration outside Coventry Transport Museum on Monday, before a whale of its pods are set to complete the first ever fully autonomous journey in Milton Keynes today as part of a preview event for the UK Autodrive International CAV Conference.
Partners, stakeholders and journalists will be driven in a JLR connected car to a dedicated pick-up point, with the vehicle communicating to the pods to tell them to pick up their passengers.
From here, up to four people will get into their allocated Pod Zero and be taken directly to the town’s train station.
“Potential customers can now buy pods equipped with Aurrigo’s own autonomous control system and we can even set up and execute the trials,” added Miles.
“We can also just supply the pod platform vehicle if a University or technology organisation is looking at developing their own systems. This was a decision we’ve only just made and, so far, interest has come from all four corners of the globe.”
Aurrigo, which has taken on 12 additional staff to deliver the UK Autodrive project, will be embarking on a major marketing drive to promote Pod Zero, utilising its sales and technical offices in Australia, Canada and the United States.
The Pods can seat up to four people, travel at 15mph and cover up to 60 miles on one charge.