Redlands Coast Smart Mobility Trial a success
Phase one of the Redlands Coast Smart Mobility Trial has come to an end, with Karragarra Island residents saying goodbye to the little yellow RACQ Smart Shuttle that became a fixture on their local streets.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the trial - a joint initiative between Redland City Council and RACQ, with support from the Council of Mayors (SEQ) - would help pave the way for future transport innovation on Redlands Coast.
“As a city of islands with rural and urban communities, we know the Redlands Coast faces a number of transport challenges and Council is committed to trialling innovation to help our residents overcome these challenges,” Cr Williams said.
“The Southern Moreton Bay Islands in particular have been poorly serviced by public transport, so we were delighted to collaborate with RACQ to host Queensland’s first full trial of an autonomous vehicle to test the performance of the EasyMile EZ10 Smart Shuttle (AV) on Karragarra Island.
“Due to its small population and low traffic environment, Karragarra Island was the perfect site for this Queensland-first test of how an autonomous vehicle would perform in a live traffic environment.”
Cr Williams said the results of the trial would now be used to investigate other routes for the autonomous vehicle and to lobby for greater adoption of innovative transport across the State.
“This trial was ground breaking, not only for Redlands Coast but for Queensland, with it being the first long-term trial in the State,” Cr Williams said.
“Over the course of the trial there were more than 850 passengers who experienced the potential of AVs, with the bus travelling more than 1400 kilometres.
“We will now work with RACQ and other stakeholders to investigate other potential routes where the vehicle can be deployed to continue testing the technology and building a business case for increased use of such technology.
RACQ’s Dr Rebecca Michael said that, concurrently with the trial, RACQ had engaged the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) to complete a research project evaluating interactions with the community and community expectations of autonomous vehicles.
“The trial was a catalyst for greater understanding by key stakeholders and the wider community about the role autonomous vehicles can play in an improved, integrated transport system,” Dr Michael said.
“I look forward to further partnership opportunities with Redland City Council.”