Residents at The Village who didn’t have access to transportation or prefer not to drive can now enjoy all the activities around the campus. (Photo: Voyage)
In an article on Medium, Oliver Cameron, Co-Founder and CEO at Voyage, discusses why his company believes retirement communities are the ideal place to put autonomous vehicles to the test.
- Voyage will deploy shuttles outfitted with its self-driving technology in the largest retirement community in the world.
- Rather than focus on developing city-ready autonomous vehicles, Voyage decided to take its slow-moving shuttles to a retirement community.
- In a retirement community, Voyage can prove its concept while also helping senior citizens stay mobile.
The perfect test environment
Voyage is a self-driving technology company that specializes in autonomous transportation at slow speeds. For its first implementation, it chose to work with The Villages in Florida, the largest retirement community in the world. Here Voyage deployed autonomous ride-sharing vehicles to shuttle residents around the campus at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.
“I liken the driving to listening to a podcast at 0.75x speed,” Cameron said. “The roadway itself is easier to navigate, thanks to simpler traffic patterns and incredible maintenance. You can drive for miles and avoid complex lane merges or even traffic lights! In other words, a self-driving car’s dream.”
At retirement homes, a lot of activities necessitate residents using a car. For example, there are over 300 daily events scheduled at The Villages and the property includes grocery stores, movie theaters and community centers. According to Cameron, Voyage brought its self-technology to market with a few guiding principles: deploy self-driving cars in simpler, slower environments; solve meaningful transportation problems that impact large groups of people; and optimize for autonomous safety and performance over cost.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Retirement communities provide the perfect testing ground to get autonomous vehicles integrated into a community. By leveraging the current state-of-the-art, Voyage is making the future of self-driving cars now.