‘Elliot’ Autonomous Vehicles Trial
Aurrigo, in collaboration with Regional Development Australia, initiated a trial at the Elliot Gardens retirement village in Port Elliot, South Australia, to assess the market feasibility of autonomous vehicles within the retirement community setting.
This trial received support from the Government of South Australia Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) and the Alexandrina Council. It was conducted as part of the South Australian Government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, which aims to foster developments in connected and autonomous vehicles, positioning South Australia as a leader in these emerging technologies.
Aurrigo, a prominent manufacturer of driverless vehicle technologies based in the UK with offices in the US, Canada, and Australia, designated one of its three Adelaide-based podzero vehicles for the trial. These podzero vehicles have been in operation at the Tonsley Innovation District since late 2017, participating in the South Australian government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund program.
The chosen vehicle for the retirement village trial, named Elliot, is a battery-powered podzero that operates autonomously using multiple sensor technologies. With a capacity for four passengers, Elliot can reach speeds of up to 10 km/h as it navigates through the village. The service was available on various routes from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm (excluding public holidays), making it convenient for residents to access the autonomous pod.
Residents had the option to hail Elliot for a ride either at the community centre or by sending an SMS or making a phone call when the vehicle was passing by, facilitating easy and accessible transportation within the retirement community.
Mobility and Safety of Residents
As we stand on the brink of a new era in transportation, the integration of autonomous vehicles into retirement village living represents a promising and innovative solution. Building on the trials conducted in various Australian cities, retirement communities have the opportunity to harness the benefits of driverless cars to enhance the mobility, safety, and overall well-being of their residents.
While challenges exist, proactive collaboration, community engagement, and infrastructure investment can pave the way for a future where autonomous vehicles seamlessly navigate the winding roads of retirement village living, offering newfound freedom and convenience to Australia’s ageing population.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. The Australian Seniors Advisory Group is not affiliated with any retirement village or autonomous vehicle manufacturer.