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Vodafone and Aurrigo to trial driverless golf transport at Wales Open

Jasper Hart
August 20, 2020

Vehicles feature Lidar and inertial navigation to accurately pinpoint location and speed

Vodafone has partnered with autonomous vehicle developer Aurrigo to deliver a driverless transport service that will transport golfers from the clubhouse to the opening tee at this year’s Wales Open, starting on August 20.

The operator is providing its 4G network to connect the shuttles, giving them the ability to transmit high-speed real-time data to relay their speed and location. Vodafone claims the shuttles make the Open the first major sporting event to use driverless technology in support of social distancing.

Aurrigo will monitor the vehicles with its fleet management systen. They feature Lidar technology which measures distances with laser light, cameras, and an inertial navigation system.

This system uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to help calculate the vehicle’s position, orientation and velocity.

“It’s fantastic to see our leading connectivity playing a pivotal role in making this event happen,” said Vodafone Business UK director Anne Sheehan. “We’re always looking at ways in which our technology can overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19.”

Aurrigo CEO David Keene added: “We have worked extremely closely with the European Tour and the players to redesign the inside of the shuttle to ensure that it is fully Covid-19 secure, whilst our new technology partnership with Vodafone will provide vital connectivity.

“It is a great opportunity to showcase our technology in front of a global audience and, potentially, provides an insight into how a Covid-19 secure autonomous vehicle could be a blueprint for future transport solutions across the world.”

While Covid-19 has accelerated demand for driverless solutions, operators have already been investing in the technology. Last year, O2 announced it would invest in a 5G road management system for driverless vehicles.

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