- Vodafone partners with Aurrigo to create a driverless transport service from the clubhouse to the opening tee at this year’s ISPS Handa Wales Open.
- ISPS Handa Wales Open is the first live sports event to use driverless travel.
- Some of golf’s top stars, including five time European Tour winner Ross Fisher, will be using the service to tee off.
- Fully autonomous vehicle aims to be the future of transport in a post-Covid world.
Golfers and their caddies appearing at the ISPS Handa Wales Open will today be taken out to the opening tee in a driverless shuttle, powered by Vodafone’s 4G network. The tournament will be the first major sporting event to use driverless technology, supporting social distancing guidelines.
The shuttles, created through a partnership between Vodafone and Coventry-based autonomous vehicle developer and manufacturer Aurrigo, will carry some of the European Tour’s leading stars from the famous Twenty Ten Clubhouse to the first tee.
Vodafone will be providing its leading 4G network connectivity to the shuttles, to enable the high speed and real time data transfers critical in supporting the precise positioning and location of the vehicle on its journey.
The shuttles feature Lidar* technology, cameras and an inertial navigation system** which come together to guide the vehicle on its journey. The data can then be viewed by the Aurrigo fleet management system to remotely monitor and track them.
Golfers and their caddies, including European Tour star Ross Fisher, will be transported in the vehicle in pairs. Passengers will sit a minimum of two metres apart in transit, to ensure social distancing and minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see our leading connectivity playing a pivotal role in making this event happen. We’re always looking at ways in which our technology can overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19.”
David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, commented: “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.”
Notes to Editors
* Lidar is a method for measuring distances (ranging) by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of a target.
** An inertial navigation system is a navigation device that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate by dead reckoning the position, the orientation, and the velocity of a moving object without the need for external references.
For further information:
Vodafone UK Media Relations
Telephone: 01635 693 693
Aurrigo, a world leader in the development and manufacture of autonomous vehicles, has seen demand for its driverless pods soar following the successful completion of major trials in the UK and across the world proved that its technology can deliver safe and efficient ‘first and last mile’ transport solutions.
Sales have come from customers in Australia, Canada, Finland, Singapore and the US, with the latest deal seeing one of its ‘Pod Zeros’ heading to China, a potential landmark moment for the Coventry-based business.