Some of the world’s best golfers are being part of a global first demonstration at Celtic Manor Resort in south Wales for the ISPS Handa Wales Open, with golfers and their caddies being transported in an autonomous shuttle.
Coventry-based Aurrigo is behind the innovation and will be running a driverless transport service from the famous Twenty Ten Club House to the 1st tee.
The shuttle, which can normally carry up to 12 people, has been redesigned specifically for the tournament to follow all Covid-19 rules, with three twin bench seats able to carry a golfer and their caddie two metres apart.
LIDAR, cameras and inertial navigation technology guide the vehicle throughout its journey and a partnership with Vodafone provides the 4G real-time data connectivity via their cellular communications network.
The data can then be viewed by the Aurrigo fleet management system to remotely monitor and track the vehicles.
David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, commented, “This is a really exciting milestone for our business and this technology, as it will be the first time ever in the world that sportspeople will be carried by an autonomous vehicle at a live event.
“We have been working 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.”
Aurrigo, which operates from its Advanced Centre of Engineering in Coventry, has been developing the shuttle for the last two years since it was appointed to be part of the Government’s CCAV Smart Cambridge’s T-CABS project to deliver the UK’s first autonomous bus route.