Royal seal of approval for self-driving pod

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UK Autodrive’s self-driving pods got the royal seal of approval on Tuesday when Prince William paid an official visit to Milton Keynes.

The Duke of Cambridge was in town as part of the year-long celebrations to mark Milton Keynes’ 50th anniversary, and he began his visit with a look inside one of the autonomous pods.

The Duke was given a short update on the project by Miles Garner of RDM Group – the Coventry-based company who are designing and building the electric-powered, self-driving vehicles – before getting into the pod himself.

“The Duke seemed genuinely excited about the technology and the benefits it will bring,” Mr Garner said afterwards.

“He had a lot of questions about how it worked and how quickly we’ll be rolling them out. The prototype we have here has darkened windows and he was keen to know if people will be able to look out of the ones that we’ll be using in Milton Keynes – so I was able to assure him that they will!

We also spoke about the fact we both have daughters called Charlotte and how by the time his was the same age as mine is now, driverless vehicles will be a common feature in our towns and cities.”

Initial trials of the pods are due to begin in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes later this year, with up to 40 pods set to be deployed across the town centre by the end of the project next summer. UK Autodrive will also be trialling autonomous and connected road-based cars on the streets of both Milton Keynes and Coventry.