Westfield to export driverless pods

Posted on 06 Sep 2017 and read 247 times
Westfield to export driverless podsKingswinford-based Westfield Sportscars has agreed a deal worth up to £30 million to export its ‘autonomous electric pods’ to South Korea.

During a recent visit to the country to strengthen trade and investment ties, International Trade minister Mark Garnier signed a ‘joint automotive collaboration’ agreement for the UK to provide the driverless vehicles.

He said: “The Midlands Engine is in full gear, as we lead the way in manufacturing expertise and show the world that Britain is open for business.

“Demand for our goods and services is clearly out there, and we will continue to support businesses in making the most of global markets, as we leave the EU.”

The UK already has strong automotive trading links with South Korea, and the number of cars exported there has increased five-fold, making it the UK’s eighth largest export market outside Europe — up from 16th in 2009.

Better known for its sports car ‘kits’, which are either hand-built at its factory or assembled by motoring enthusiasts themselves, Westfield is now a leading force in the development of self-driving vehicles.

Its pods are currently being trialled in Greenwich and Bristol. Next year, they will also be trialled in the Midlands.

North Gyeongsang, a South Korean regional government, has ordered five of the autonomous pods for initial testing.

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