Warilla's Linda Thompson has named her trusty mobility scooter Nelly, after the American rapper.
And the 67-year-old loves nothing better than driving through her caravan park, flying the Australian flag, with her headphones on listening to rap music.
But while she enjoys the freedom Nelly provides her, she said there remained plenty of challenges for scooter users in Australia.
"I have a bad back and can't walk very far or stand for long periods, and without a scooter I was pretty much stuck at home," Mrs Thompson said. "Now I have all the freedom I want - and don't have to rely on others to help me get around.
"But there's restrictions on the speed of scooters - mine only goes 7km/hr - which makes it hard crossing roads and dealing with traffic.
"And bumpy footpaths and kerbs can be tricky to navigate, and I can't count the times people walking and looking at mobile phones have bumped into me and then blamed me."
That's why Mrs Thompson is enthusiastic about a new study which aims to improve the experiences of electric wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
It's one of several University of Wollongong projects to share in almost $1.5 million in funding from the latest round of Australia Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects grants.
Professor Gordon Waitt and Dr Thomas Birtchnell, from the social sciences faculty, will lead the investigation into the future of motorised mobility devices, which has received $356,000.
They will use the funds to expand the pilot study - which saw researchers drive around Wollongong on mobility scooters, and speak to users, to gain an understanding of the issues.
"These vehicles are seen as a problem on pavements and on roads - there's not a single place for them to be," Dr Birtchnell said.
"And that's an issue when they're so crucial in many people's lives - and in an ageing society it's going to be a key issue."
The research will look at urban infrastructure, and how it limits people on these devices, and how adequate regulations are needed to protect users - and the public.
Dr Birtchnell said the study would also look at the stigma surrounding these vehicles - which could just be the future of transport.
"There's few electric vehicles in widespread use but in the future we are going to have to face the electrification of vehicles, and the downsizing of vehicles, to accommodate safer cities, well-being and environmental issues," he said.
"So we need to work to reduce the stigma against and intolerance of these vehicles, to make the streets safer for the different species of vehicle that will be increasingly used."
The research team will work with industry partner Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia, and executive officer David Sinclair is keen for evidence-based research to help inform legislation.
"The industry is keen to support our users so they can be integrated as part of the community," Mr Sinclair said.
"And we need to rethink how we view motorised mobility devices. Could they be part of the natural transport for society and not just for the elderly, for people with a disability or injury?"
Other UOW projects granted ARC funding last week were an investigation into the value of web series as a form of entertainment; and research into improving the safety and performance of superconducting coil systems used in MRI scanners.