Driverless vehicles make an appearance on MK streets

The LUTZ Pathfinder pod was filmed in the Theatre District in Milton Keynes.
The LUTZ Pathfinder pod was filmed in the Theatre District in Milton Keynes.

The future is now and driverless if you visited the Theatre District recently.

One of the LUTZ Pathfinder pods was filmed as part of a promotional video the Transport Systems Catapult will be showing at this year’s Imagine Festival.

Geoff Snelson, director of strategy and Cllr Peter Marland, leader of the council will also feature in the video highlighting the importance of driverless vehicle technology and what it means for Milton Keynes.

The LUTZ Pathfinder pod, the first autonomous vehicle in the UK to work on public footpaths, was officially unveiled at a Government launch event in Greenwich, London in February.

The electric-powered vehicles can seat two people and work on pavements and pedestrianised areas. Three pods will be tested later this year in Milton Keynes ahead of the UK Autodrive driverless vehicles project of which Milton Keynes Council is also a key partner. A fleet of 40 pods will be in operation by the end of 2017.

Cllr Peter Marland said: “It was really exciting to see one of the pods in a real-life situation where we hope they will one day become an everyday feature of life in Milton Keynes. Passers-by were really engaged as the filming of the pod took place, expressing enthusiasm and excitement for this innovative type of transport and asking questions in order to find out more about it.”

The driverless pods project is part of the council’s Future City Programme which includes MK:Smart, an initiative with BT and Open University which is looking at how new technology can support economic growth in Milton Keynes.

MK:Smart recently won a major international prize, the Best New Catalyst award at TM Forum Live! in Nice in France.