While there’s been a great deal of talk about driverless vehicles here in Australia, Flinders University is currently helping make it happen – working with South Australia’s RAA to develop and implement some exciting trials that showcase the technology in action.
For instance, pre-booking a driverless shuttle via a mobile app is now a step closer to reality, thanks to a recent Flinders University research project which has won backing from the state government.
Flinders has enjoyed success in two applications to the government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund; a $10 million initiative to drive the development of driverless car technology in South Australia.
As part of the first grant, Flinders University in partnership with the RAA, will work with eight industry supporters to trial so called “last mile” public transport shuttle services (feeder services that bridge gaps for public transport users between train/bus stops and the home/office or any other destination).
As a leader in autonomous systems research, Flinders University is the perfect testing ground for this exciting, transformational technology.
“The trial will include the development of a mobile app, so that people arriving by bus or train can book a shuttle to be meet them, and ferry them to their destination on the Tonsley or Bedford Park campuses. It will also include a feature showing the shuttle’s location, and vision streamed from the vehicle. As the trial advances, we’ll open it up to members of the public to be able to experience driverless transport, in a vehicle powered by renewable energy,” Professor Stirling says.
As part of the second grant, Flinders University will work with RDM to develop ‘last mile’ freight logistics, which will see cargo delivered to a Tonsely freights arrivals point then delivered by autonomous vehicles to its final destination.
“In order for driverless vehicles to become an integral part of our transport system we need to have trials that prove the technology under real world conditions, and encourage public participation. These ‘last mile’ trials do just that,” says Flinders University’s Head of Civil Engineering, Professor Rocco Zito.