A leading international driverless car supplier will open its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Adelaide, with future plans to develop an assembly facility in South Australia.
RDM Group — which is working on delivering the United Kingdom’s first driverless vehicles for use on public pavements, streets and private land — is set to open an office at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus.
The office will be responsible for purchasing, sales and technology support as part of the firm’s expansion into Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
The company has long-term plans to create a bespoke assembly facility in Adelaide, supplying vehicles to the Asia-Pacific region.
The announcement coincides with an overwhelming response to the Government’s $10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund, to boost local testing, research and development of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
More than 40 applications worth more than $20 million were received for a share of the fund. They will be now assessed before the successful initiatives are announced.
UK-based RDM Group is leading the way in the production of autonomous vehicles within the L-SATS (Low-Speed Autonomous Transport System) sector.
The firm showcased its ‘Pod Zero’ autonomous vehicle at last year’s World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems in Melbourne.
It has appointed a program director to oversee the set-up of its headquarters, develop a supply chain and explore opportunities with the Government, education and private sectors.
South Australia is being recognised as a national leader in future transportation systems and technologies, thanks to our innovative and collaborative approach to supporting the technology providers and developers.
Since our landmark driverless car trials and demonstrations just over a year ago, the State Government has led the nation in creating a legislative framework to support autonomous vehicle technology.
I met with RDM in London last year and explained the strong position South Australia has to offer this new industry.
RDM’s decision to open its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Adelaide is a resounding show of support for the South Australian Government efforts to stimulate this growing industry which is expected to be worth $90 billion worldwide by 2020.
Both this announcement and the overwhelming interest shown in the State Government’s Future Mobility Fund are an indication that not only is South Australia open business but is in a unique position to leverage the potential of this burgeoning industry.
There is massive demand for creating autonomous mobility solutions in Australia and we want to make sure our technology is at the forefront of any new developments.
With this in mind, we feel the opportunity deserves a local presence and we are delighted to have taken a technical office at Flinders University, within the world class Tonsley Innovation District.
This will give us the base to develop an Australian supply chain and to explore new opportunities, with the longer-term plan to create a bespoke assembly facility in Adelaide that will supply vehicles direct to customers across the Asia-Pacific region.
Our Adelaide office is the first step in a plan that will hopefully see us build a bespoke assembly facility where we can build hundreds of autonomous pods every year.
We have been working very closely with Investment Attraction South Australia’s Future Industry and Advanced Manufacturing area to identify and attract world leading driverless technology providers to South Australia.
We welcome RDM to South Australia as the first of a number of companies that are seriously considering establishing a base in SA.
ADVI’s economic paper has identified that up to 15,000 jobs can be created from the automated vehicle industry and South Australia’s leadership has them well placed to attract a large share of these direct and indirect jobs to South Australia.
The RDM vehicles represent the smaller more flexible type of autonomous vehicle that may have applications in areas such as retirement villages and assisted care.
The RAA supports the roll out of these technologies and the setting up of companies like RDM in South Australia will help the state to maintain a leadership role in this technology development.
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