Driverless vehicle trial given the green light

Driverless vehicle trial underway at Lendlease Elliot Gardens retirement village

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GOING PLACES: Residents of Lendlease's Elliot Gardens retirement village in Port Pirie in the driverless car with Aurrigo's director of autonomous programs (Asia Pacific), Roger van der Lee (centre).

GOING PLACES: Residents of Lendlease's Elliot Gardens retirement village in Port Pirie in the driverless car with Aurrigo's director of autonomous programs (Asia Pacific), Roger van der Lee (centre).

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Retirement village residents test out driverless car.

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THERE WILL be no designated drivers at one South Australian retirement village which has lauched a driverless car service for residents.

Lendlease's Elliot Gardens has taken delivery of the battery-powered Podzero car as part of the autonomous vehicle trial by UK manufacturer Aurrigo.

The trial will look at how autonomous technology can improve mobility for the 330 residents living at the 27-hectare village in Port Elliot.

The car, which has been nicknamed Elliot by residents, uses multiple sensors, can reach speeds of up to 24 kmph and can carry transport four passengers.

'Elliot' was one of three Adelaide-based Podzero vehicles operating at the Tonsley Innovation District as part of the state government's Mobility Lab Fund program.

ON THE GO: 'Elliot' the driverless vehicle uses multiple sensors, can reach speeds of up to 24 kmph and carry transport four passengers.

ON THE GO: 'Elliot' the driverless vehicle uses multiple sensors, can reach speeds of up to 24 kmph and carry transport four passengers.

Lendlease Retirement Living managing director, Tony Randello, said the company was "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."

"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 trial will also include an independent research program conducted by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA).

Member for Finniss, David Basham, officially launched the trial.

"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," he said.

"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."

Aurrigo's director of autonomous programs (Asia Pacific), Roger van der Lee, said the opportunity to meet a demand for mobility services for senior citizens in a range of retirement living situations, using driverless technology, was vital.

"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," he said.

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

Read more: LifeLab opens at Global Centre for Modern Ageing in Tonsley, Adelaide

Read more: Charles Sturt University's Adam Poulsen is researching how robots can help older LGBT+ people who are lonely

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