UK autonomous vehicle designer establishes Asia-Pacific HQ in Australia

19 Apr 2017

RDM Group, a designer and manufacturer of autonomous vehicles, is establishing its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Adelaide’s Tonsley innovation district.

The company specialises in small self-driving and guided vehicles for factory and warehouse logistics. The vehicles, which have a top speed of 24 km/h, can also be used in airports and similar locations.

RDM Group is using a A$1 million government grant to establish its headquarters and fund local trials of its driverless cargo pods. The grant is one of seven funded by the South Australian Government’s A$10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund to advance the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

David Keene, RDM Group Chairman, says when the UK company looked at taking its driverless vehicle technology to other countries, it recognised the appetite of South Australia to be at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development.

‘The region shared our passion and vision and we decided that we would make Adelaide the base of our first international office, with a view to creating a bespoke assembly facility here,’ he says.

‘This commitment has already paid off, with lots of initial interest and new opportunities we are currently exploring. We are looking forward to working with the Tonsley innovation district to deliver one of the world’s first driverless cargo pods.’

Opened in 2015, the Tonsley innovation district is near Flinders University and is on the site of the former Mitsubishi Australia/Chrysler Australia car factory.

As part of its local operations, RDM Group will employ a Flinders University PhD student to work on new technologies associated with the autonomous vehicles, such as efficient air conditioning and solar nanotechnology and integrations of the pods into public transport networks.

Founded in the UK in 1993, RDM Group supplies products and engineering services to companies worldwide across the automotive, aerospace, medical, rail and renewable energy sectors.