A driverless bus has hit the road at Main Beach as part of a 9 month trial.
The Gold Coast Smart Shuttle will operate a free passenger service between 11am and 3pm seven days a week until December 2022.
The autonomous bus has a fixed 2.4km route around Main Beach, with seven dedicated shuttle stops, and can travel up to a speed of 18km/h.
See the bus in action in the video below:
“Autonomous vehicles are an example of emerging transport technology that will revolutionise the way we travel,” Councillor Darren Taylor said.
“This type of transport is ideal for short trips, linking public transport services to key precincts and events across the city, while contributing to sustainable transport solutions.”
The trial is part of an autonomous vehicle research program conducted by RACQ in collaboration with the City of Gold Coast, with the support of vehicle manufacturer EasyMile and Kinetic owned Surfside Buslines.
RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Susan Furze said the Club was excited to deliver the ground-breaking research in the bustling Main Beach community.
“After two successful trials with Redland City Council at Karragarra Island and Raby Bay, we’re eager to better understand how this technology can be safely integrated into a busier live-traffic environment and its potential to fulfil future transport needs,” Ms Furze said.
“The bus will use high-tech sensors to self-drive around the set route, stopping at designated locations to drop off and pick up passengers.
“We’ll be monitoring how the shuttle interacts with other road users and existing transport services in the area.”
While the RACQ Smart Shuttle is autonomous, a chaperone will be on board to ensure the vehicle is operating safely, assist passengers, and speak with them about how the technology works.
For more information about the Gold Coast Smart Shuttle and for timetable details visit cityofgoldcoast.com.au/smartshuttle