Research and Development

RDM Group has a dynamic and innovative approach to design and development. Our team are highly skilled with many years experience working across a variety of industries, including automotive (both as a tier 1 and a tier 2), aerospace, defence, electronics and telematics  

The creativity, expertise and enthusiasm of our team, utilising our in-house design studio, computer aided design and prototyping facilities enable us to visualise concepts producing prototypes.  

The following two case studies provide a snapshot of the types of projects that RDM Group can provide.

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Low Caron Urban Transport Zone (LUTZ) Pathfinder Project

 

48V Town & Country Hybrid Powertrain (TC48)

The huge potential of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles has been identified by the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) as a key growth area, and the LUTZ Pathfinder programme marks our first foray into this exciting sector.

Carried out on behalf of the UK Automotive Council & the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and sitting within the wider LUTZ (Low-carbon Urban Transport Zone) programme, the LUTZ Pathfinder programme is overseeing a trial of three autonomous pods in Milton Keynes and assessing their feasibility from both a technical and societal point of view.

RDM Group has won the contract to build the electric-powered two-seater pods which will be equipped with sensor and navigation technology initially provided by the University of Oxford's Mobile Robotics Group, but with an open platform capability that will allow other Autonomous Control System suppliers to use the pods for test purposes.

Starting in early 2015, the TSC will test the pods in an "urban laboratory" using a pavement route agreed with our partners at Milton Keynes Council.

 

TC48 is a £3.6m project to develop a beyond state-of-the-art, exceptionally low cost, FWD, 48V plug-in hybrid electric propulsion system suitable for pure electric urban driving below 35 mph (Town) and internal combustion engine driving above 35mph (Country).  This system will combine a novel switched reluctance machine (SRM), a 3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, a 6 speed manual transmission and 5 a kWh Li-ion battery pack, to produce a highly integrated powertrain capable of 112 mpg / 52g/km CO2. The project will use twin powertrain controller and vehicle controller ECUs based on the TSB Artemis funded TriCore AURIXTM microcontroller and the Oikos controller design platforms.

Project goals & Deliverables

The Town & Country hybrid architecture and control strategy will minimise battery costs, whilst seamlessly blending PHEV Town mode (15 mile All Electric Range) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle(HEV) Country mode. Tata Steel UK & Productiv will demonstrate capability to make the powertrain in a production relevant environment. The result will be a world beating xEV powertrain with greatly reduced complexity, uniquely cost effective & tuned for mass production.

RDM Group Involvement

RDM Group led a team of seven organisations comprising 5 companies and 2 Universities to win funding for the project worth £2.5m from Innnovate UK formerly the Technology Strategy Board. 

RDM is the lead company for the project and is currently coordinating the work of all the partners.

RDM will also be responsible for the build of the prototype vehicle featuring the TC48 drivetrain for demonstration at the end of the project.

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