Driverless mobility service in a retirement lifestyle village launches at Elliot Gardens in regional South Australia


In collaboration with Regional Development Australia, Aurrigo has launched an autonomous vehicle trial at the Lendlease owned Elliot Gardens retirement village at Port Elliot.

The trial will showcase how autonomous technology can deliver improved mobility for the 330 residents living in 194 villa homes at the 27-hectare village.

Aurrigo is a leading manufacturer of driverless vehicle technologies based in the UK with offices in the US, Canada and Australia.

One of Aurrigo’s three Adelaide based podzero vehicles which have been operating since late 2017 at the Tonsley Innovation District as part of the South Australian government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund program will be assigned to the trial.

The battery powered podzero operates autonomously through multiple sensor technologies with speeds up to 24 kmph and has capacity for four passengers or small cargo transport.

Member for Finniss David Basham officially launched the trial.

“I’m very pleased our community has been selected to undertake this trial,” said Mr Basham.

“We recognise it’s not always easy for older residents to get around and it makes perfect sense to utilise advanced technology to improve their mobility and quality of life.

“I’m confident the residents of Elliot Gardens will embrace this amazing technology, which is heralding a completely new way of how we move ourselves.”

Roger van der Lee, Director Autonomous Programs APAC said the opportunity to meet a demand for mobility services for senior citizens in a range of retirement living situations utilising our driverless technology is very important.

“This trial will provide user feedback on the real-life experience of an autonomous mobility service and the performance of the pod, which will contribute to future service and technical developments,” said Mr van der Lee.

“Our aim is to improve the quality of life by providing a mobility service which enables social interaction in every community where we operate.”

The trial will include an independent research program conducted by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing.

Stephen Shotton, Regional Development Manager, said “we are excited to bring this trial to our region and contribute to the practical application of innovative technologies which improve services in regional communities.”

Tony Randello, Managing Director, Lendlease Retirement Living said at Lendlease we create sustainable, connected communities where residents have unparalleled choice and opportunity to pursue active lifestyles.

“We are constantly looking for ways to make our villages more liveable which is why we’re tremendously excited to be participating in this Autonomous Vehicle Trial,” said Mr Randello.

“This trial may show us how technology could extend mobility and help our resident’s age in place, among friends and providing them a sense of freedom and independence.

“We also expect the trial will show that no matter how old you are, you can always embrace new technology into your lifestyle.”

The Aurrigo pod, named “Elliot” by popular vote of the residents, will commence operations on Thursday 28th March following a launch event at Montpelier Terrace, Port Elliot.

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