Redlands residents can literally get on board and experience the future of urban transport when the EasyMile EZ10 electric driverless bus hits Middle Street for this Sunday’s Cleveland Markets.
Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams said that autonomous buses have the potential to solve many transport challenges faced in the Redlands and Council is interested in how the technology can assist in planning for the City’s future transport needs.
“There are a range of applications for this technology here in the Redlands, from connecting people from car parks to bus, train and ferry stations, transport within events, or even within shopping, health or industrial precincts.”
“Our island residents could benefit greatly from these driverless buses as a general mode of island transport or on the mainland operating between ferry terminals and off-site car parks to improve transport connectivity for island commuters,” Cr Williams said.
Driverless technology, such as the EasyMile EZ10, will complement the region’s existing transport network while assisting Redland City Council in delivering innovative and cost effective solutions to South East Queensland’s public transport challenges.
“I was fortunate to be a part of a Council of Mayors’ (SEQ) delegation to Singapore last year where the SEQ Mayors first met with EasyMile and experienced the EZ10 electric driverless shuttle first hand. We knew we had to trial it here.
“Given the opportunities this technology creates for the mobility impaired, aged care and isolated communities, it’s fitting to see Redland City Council taking the lead with a driverless vehicle trial.
“This is another important milestone in positioning South East Queensland as the world’s first Smart Region, and demonstrating Redland City Council’s role as an innovation leader.
Cr Williams said these ‘smart mobility’ solutions are already used in cities such as Darwin and are suited to small geographical areas or short runs to and from specific destinations where parking is problematic.
To deliver this demonstration, Council has worked with international, high-tech company EasyMile, which specialises in software-powered autonomous vehicles, and local bus operator Transdev.
EasyMile’s Head of Delivery, Simon Pearce said that their software technology has been powering autonomous shuttles for a decade and the Cleveland road show demonstrated the massive potential of driverless buses to provide efficient transport where it is needed most in the Redlands.
“The EZ10 has a capacity of 14 customers and has been designed to cover short pre-defined routes through embedded localisation technologies. Using the latest sensory technology, the vehicle can safely respond to environmental changes like moving pedestrians, cyclists and other cars,” he said.
The buses will run at just 5km/h during the trial but can travel at up to 45km/h when required. On Sunday, the public will have the opportunity to board the driverless bus which will travel from Library Square along Middle St to Doig St and back. The EZ10 will also be on static display in Library Square, Middle Street on Monday.