The Secretary of state for Transport, The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, has visited Milton Keynes-based Innovation Centre Transport Systems Catapult to learn about the latest transport innovations being developed by the organisation.
Mr McLoughlin met with TSC CEO Steve Yianni and was introduced to technologies including social media sentiment mapping, virtual city planning and the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless vehicle.
The LUTZ Pathfinder autonomous vehicles trial is currently underway in the city. It involves up to three electric-powered pods operating on pedestrianised areas within the town centre. The pods are initially being driven in manual mode by a trained operator, whilst they gather data which will allow them to travel using their autonomous systems later in the trial.
Patrick McLoughlin said, “Autonomous and driverless cars have the potential to profoundly transform the way we travel, making journeys simpler, reducing accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly. Transport Systems Catapult is helping Britain lead the way in developing the next generation of vehicles – and I was delighted to try out one of their pods in Milton Keynes. This technology is closer than people think – and in these development labs they are making it a reality.”