Autonomous Vehicle Trial


Project snapshot



Project contact

Stephen Shotton
Project Manager

Alignment with RDA strategy

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Access

Following a visit to Tonsley Innovation District, RDA AHFKI identified an opportunity to trial an autonomous (driverless) vehicle in its region. A use case was developed for residents in a retirement village setting where increased social activity and outings would be a positive outcome.

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, was assigned to a trial at the Lendlease owned Elliot Gardens retirement village at Port Elliot. The project was supported by the Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) and Alexandrina Council.

Member for Finniss David Basham MP at the Autonomous Vehicle Launch in March 2019

The trial included an independent research program conducted by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA), co-launched by the Federal and South Australian Governments to place the state at the forefront of modern ageing. The role of their research was to uncover residents attitudes and perceptions towards autonomous vehicles, investigate uses in a retirement village setting, understand user experiences and explore ideas for future autonomous vehicles.

Arrigo’s Podzero vehicle at the Elliot Gardens

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. The pod was named “Elliot” by popular vote of the Elliot Gardens 330 residents

RDA manager Stephen Shotton, Member for Finniss David Basham MP and Elliot Gardens Village manager Vicki Neilson at the autonomous vehicle.

The trial was a huge success, exposing our communities to new technology, confirming attitudes to autonomous vehicles were largely positive, and providing stakeholders with valuable real-world experience that can inform forward development of technology and its implementation.

The GCMA trial summary report below, outlines the results of the trial including recommendations for future trials and vehicle design and service considerations.

Congratulations to Aurrigo and all project partners on the nomination of this trial for an Intelligent Transport Systems Australia National Award!

Project Report

Project Media Coverage

Government of South Australia Media Release

The Victor Harbor Times – Autonomous Vehicle Launch

The Weekly Source – Driverless car service launches at regional SA retirement village

Weekender Herald – Bringing Technology to the Region

Insider media – Coventry firm launches landmark project down under

Smart Highways UK – Aurrigo launches Australia ’s first retirement village driverless mobility service

Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine UK – Coventry manufacturer launches driverless mobility service.

Today Tonight 8th April 2019

Downsizing Australia – Meet Elliot: a robotic car driving SA’s ageing services innovation push

The Senior – Driverless vehicle trial underway at Lendlease Elliot Gardens retirement village

The Victor Harbor Times – Driverless Vehicle Trial at Elliot Gardens has come to a close

The Journal on Active Aging – Special Technology Issue 2019

Weekender Herald – Look! No Hands

Mobility For All – A Special Report on Autonomous Vehicle and Accessibility

Industry Articles

Driverless Buses can help Public Transport Woes

Ranked: The Autonomous Vehicle Readiness of 20 Countries

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