With vehicle technology moving towards a driverless future, Flinders University is hopping on board a new South Australian trial of shared autonomous vehicles.
Flinders is stepping up its research into integrated transport and safety solutions with the launch of a partnership with EasyMile a French company that is a pioneer in driverless technology and smart mobility solutions
The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EasyMile, the worldwide leader in terms of deployments of Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs), will focus on the effectiveness of autonomous shuttle buses in urban environments.
The partnership will see Flinders University’s transportation engineering expertise applied to autonomous vehicles projects, such as the recently announced State Government Future Mobility Lab funded collaboration in which EasyMile will provide EZ10 driverless shuttles in the City of Playford, assisting commuters to make seamless public transport connections.
The EZ10 is a fully electric, quiet and low emissions AV with capacity to carry between 12 and 15 passengers depending on configuration.
Unique to this collaboration is the inclusion of open platform technology, which will allow the vehicle to be regularly updated by EasyMile’s researchers and improved as autonomous software advances.
Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint says the MoU is an example of an international collaboration that will have many local benefits.
“Flinders University research is leading the way nationally and internationally in collaboration with global partners that share our vision to improve people’s lives,” Professor Saint says.
“Our partnership with EasyMile is another example of Flinders making a difference in the international field of driverless vehicle technology and also making a difference closer to home.
“Apart from the benefits to transport users, this MoU creates opportunities for our PhDs to apply their research talents, and for our students to experience unique work integrated learning in an exciting emerging field.”
Head of EasyMile Australia and NZ Mr Simon Pearce says the EZ10 vehicle is a functioning example of what the future of mobility for end users looks like, combining the benefits and flexibility of the technology with the economy of group transportation.
“The world is on the edge of a transport revolution; technology is transforming the transport industry, impacting not only the way we travel, but also the way we live,” Mr Pearce says.
Flinders University transport engineering expert Professor Rocco Zito says industry and research partnerships play an important role in transport’s future.
“The benefits of autonomous vehicles are only realised if they are connected to the whole of the transport system,” Professor Zito says.
“By partnering with EasyMile through projects such as the City of Playford we are able to test highly integrated transport technology that can make a real difference to people’s lives,” he says.