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Renmark tests autonomous electric shuttle

The trial is designed to improve the ability of the autonomous shuttle service to run on open roads and demonstrate how such vehicles can contribute to the development of smart city solutions.

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During the trial an on-board security operator will be present. Copyright: Keolis Downer
During the trial an on-board security operator will be present. Copyright: Keolis Downer

Keolis is testing a new autonomous electric shuttle in Renmark, a city of 10,000 residents 200km northeast of Adelaide in South Australia, in partnership with the South Australian Department for infrastructure and Transport, EasyMile, Renmark Paringa Council and Flinders University.

 

The trial, which will run until June 2021, is designed to improve the ability of the autonomous shuttle service to run on open roads and demonstrate the ability of such vehicles to integrate and adapt to an urban area and contribute to the development of smart city solutions.

 

EasyMile shuttle


Visitors and residents are invited to use this service, which is particularly adapted to people with reduced mobility.

 

Running on open roads, the EZ10 autonomous shuttle made by EasyMile, serves the Renmark riverfront and several key locations, including the municipal swimming pool, supermarket and other food outlets. With six stops along a 2.4km loop through the city centre, the autonomous shuttle provides a free hop-on hop-off service every 30 minutes on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays.


During the trial phase, an on-board security operator is present at all times in the event of an emergency (such as the need for emergency braking), as well as to guide passengers during their journey and raise awareness of the project.


Five Keolis Downer staff have been assigned to the project for the four months of the trial.

The trial aims to demonstrate the ability of autonomous vehicles to integrate and adapt to an urban area, and to contribute to the development of smart city solutions

Integrating GPS, a range of cameras and sensors for odometry and extensive safety features, information is constantly shared between the EZ10 autonomous electric shuttle and its environment and urban infrastructure (such as traffic lights). As a result, the shuttle is able to analyse and adapt its speed accordingly.


Keolis Downer is a joint venture that was created in 2009. It employs some 5,000 people and carries more than 250 million passengers per year across five Australian states.

 

The company operates the Adelaide commuter rail in South Australia, Newcastle’s multi-modal network, the tram networks of Melbourne, Newcastle and the Gold Coast, as well as bus networks in three states (Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland).

 

The group also provides first- and last-mile mobility solutions including autonomous electric vehicles (currently deployed in Adelaide, Newcastle and Sydney), and on-demand transport in real time (in Sydney, Newcastle, Mount Barker and the Barossa Valley).


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