The Transport Systems Catapult, the UK’s innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, based in Milton Keynes, attended at The Great Festival of Creativity in Shanghai, showcasing a 3D-printed model of the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pods and an accompanying video animation of the pods “in action”.
The driverless pod technology on show became a major talking point over the festival’s three days, featuring on three national TV channels and attracting widespread interest from politicians, business leaders, and celebrity guests.
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 London in February.
The electric-powered vehicles can seat two people and are designed to work on pavements and pedestrianised areas.
Three pods will be tested later this year in Milton Keynes ahead of the larger UK Autodrive driverless vehicles project, of which Milton Keynes Council is also a key partner, where a fleet of 40 pods will be in operation on the city’s pavements by the end of 2017.
The Great Festival of Creativity is a dynamic celebration of creativity in business, and the start of a new dialogue between global enterprises.
It attracted over 500 companies and 3,000 delegates interested in seeing the very best of British creativity, from fashion and luxury goods to technology and innovation.
Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Peter Marland said: “I am not surprised to learn that a project pioneered in Milton Keynes is being globally recognised in places like China.
"The driverless pods are just one aspect of Milton Keynes’ exciting smart city agenda which is not only raising Milton Keynes’ profile as a great place for innovation, but also the global profile of the UK’s capability to innovate as a whole.”