This is the Lutz Pod, the UK's First Driverless Car

By Gerald Lynch on at

Ready to see The Jetson's-tinged Johnny Cab of your future pissed-up, late night, beer soaked taxi rides home? Take a look at the Lutz Pathfinder, the UK's first driverless car:

Or, to give it its more commonly used nickname, the "Lutz Pod". Unveiled today in Greenwich, it's been built and designed by Coventry's RDM Group, as part of the Autodrive project.

40 of the vehicles, designed to help shoppers, the elderly and commuters travel short distances, will be tested in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes later this year.

Large enough to accommodate two passengers with luggage, the Luts Pathfinder is powered by a computer sat behind its seats as powerful as two high-end gaming PCs. 22 sensors (including panoramic cameras, radar and laser imaging) allow the Lutz Pathfinder to understand the world around it and navigate it.

The cars have a range of 40 miles, with enough juice to last eight hours of continuous travel, maxing out at top speeds of 15 mph. A smartphone app will allow would-be passengers to hail the vehicles for a ride, too.

The Lutz Pod's unveiling is accompanied today by government plans to conduct a major review of the rules currently governing the roads in order to accommodate driverless cars in the future. This may include significant changes to the Highway Code and MOT services. [YouTube]