QUEENSLAND’S first driverless bus trial will begin on Karragarra Island in November.
RACQ’s Rebecca Michael said that travel would be free during a six-month trial.
“The RACQ Smart Shuttle has a maximum speed of 20km/h and will use sophisticated sensors to navigate and detection lasers which can identify obstacles within 40 metres before stopping safely or slowing down as needed,” Dr Michael said.
The bus, supplied by international mobility company EasyMile, would have a chaperone on board to answer questions and take feedback.
The bus was all-abilities friendly with an automated ramp providing access as needed.
“The RACQ Smart Shuttle will operate on a three-and-a-half kilometre fixed loop route, starting at the Karragarra ferry terminal, continuing along The Esplanade, Maryanne Street and Treasure Island Avenue,” Dr Michael said. “A timetable of services will be co-ordinated with ferry arrivals and passengers can hop on or off at one of eight bus stops along the route.”
Mayor Karen Williams said it was exciting that the first long-term trial of the driverless bus technology in Queensland would be held on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
“Redlands Coast has unique transport challenges that need innovative solutions, which is why we’re partnering with RACQ and Easy Mile on the Smart Mobility trial,” she said.
Dr Michael said the driverless bus aimed to address gaps in the public transport system and explore new transport options.
“Karragarra Island currently has no public transport at all, so this trial is expected to make life much easier for residents and visitors who previously had to rely on private vehicles,” Dr Michael said.