Community of houses in the suburbs of Arizona, forming a circular shape surrounding water.

As universities and retirement communities look for ways to provide safe and efficient transportation, many are turning to shuttle-like services using golf carts. Golf carts can navigate busy campus sidewalks and crowded retirement community parking lots with ease, and their smaller sizes and controlled speeds make it a much safer means of transport.

Now, the use of golf carts as a mobility service can go one step further, and do away with the need for a driver. That’s right driverless, self-driving, or autonomous golf carts are here!

Let’s take a look at how this new technology can make transportation in Arizona safer and more inclusive.


Autonomous vehicle technology picks up speed in Arizona

Although still in its infancy, the autonomous vehicle is slowly but surely making its way onto American roads. One of the most significant advantages of these vehicles is their ability to autonomously pick up and drop off passengers, without the need for a human driver. This technology has the potential to drastically reduce traffic congestion and emissions, as well as improve safety on our roads.

In the past, Arizona regulated autonomous vehicle testing and operation by executive order. Rather than pass statutory requirements for autonomous vehicles, the state Legislature opted not to do so, and instead allowed technology companies flexibility. However, in March, the legislature enacted, and the governor signed, HB 2813, which established standards for driverless vehicles

Now there’s room for autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s roads (given that the operator follows the necessary procedures.)


Introducing autonomous golf carts

Science fiction stories have featured self-driving vehicles for almost a century and autonomous cars have been experimented with since the 1920s. It is only recently, however, that self-driving cars have become feasible, thanks to advances in computer and sensor technology. Moreover, the technology can now be used by a variety of vehicles, including golf carts.

This new concept is designed to make transportation easy for everyone, whether they are young or old, able-bodied or not. In fact, many businesses across the world like popular resorts are using autonomous golf carts to help guests to get around.

The introduction of autonomous golf carts may even help develop self-driving cars and solve some of the problems facing the realization of an autonomous future. 

Next, we’ll explore the benefits of using self-driving golf carts and how various locations such as universities, retirement villages and car-free communities can put these low-speed vehicles to use.


The future of autonomous transportation in Arizona


Universities often stretch over miles of land with classes spread across the various edges of the campus, making it difficult for students and teachers to get around. Additionally, not all students are able to operate a vehicle.

Here’s how autonomous golf carts can help:

Shared service: Universities can give students, teachers, and university staff a safe and reliable means of transportation with a significantly lower overhead. Thanks to ride-sharing, the university doesn’t need as many golf carts to get everyone around, which means that costs are lower, there’s more parking on campus, and maintenance costs drop too.

Ability to replace the driver: Self-driving carts can roam the campus freely (within the designated geofenced area, ready to pick up and drop off students and staff. Even late at night.

Now, using autonomous golf carts to offer a mobility service has become much more economical since universities don’t have to worry about driver costs.

Retirement communities

Arizona is home to many popular retirement communities, including the State’s first 55+ [year-old] community, Sun City, Arizona, which now houses more than 40,000 residents, and Sun City West, another AZ favorite with over 20,000 residents.

Already a popular roaming ground for golf carts, retirement communities benefit greatly from low-speed transportation alternatives. Unfortunately, the safety of regular golf carts is dependent on the driver’s ability to drive responsibly. Retirement communities can use an even safer solution.

Reduce accidents: Self-driving golf carts use predetermined speeds and TruSafe™ Technology to deliver the safest self-driving experience.

Shared vehicles: Ridesharing is a great option for those who live in retirement communities. It’s affordable, convenient, reduces traffic congestion and parking problems in retirement communities, and makes getting around more inclusive. No matter how old, or young the user is, a self-driving golf cart can get them from A to B.

Car-free community

Car-free communities are popping up all over the world. Why now? Because the technology that can help people navigate crowded blocks, streets, and cities is emerging, and transport as we know it is changing. 

Culdesac Tempe is a car-free community being developed in downtown Tempe, Arizona, that is designed to be walkable and sustainable. The developer, Opticos Design, is an urban design firm with expertise in creating “walkable communities”. Culdesac is a revolutionary new community that will be the first of its kind in the United States, where users won’t need cars to get around and will rely on other means of transportation (such as autonomous golf carts) to get around instead.

An inclusive shared service: Everyone benefits from autonomous ride-sharing, not just a select few, from kids to the elderly and even people with disabilities. Having autonomous golf carts available as a means of transportation makes it easier and safer for everyone to get around.

Consequently, the addition of autonomous golf carts compliments the range of mobility offerings such as internal bikes and scooter sharing services commonly available to kids in these communities.

We are on the cusp of a new era in transportation, one in which self-driving vehicles will become the norm. This technology has the potential to transform our cities and the way we live, work, and play.


The start of a worldwide autonomous low-speed vehicle revolution

Are you curious about Carteav’s end-to-end autonomous golf cart offering? We love talking about fleet management, the future of transportation, AV technology, safety, and how to reduce fleet costs. Please, reach out if you want to learn more or get in touch.



10 Ways to Reduce Golf Cart Operational Costs and Improve Service
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