The Northern Territory Government announced late last year that Darwin will be the first fully operational transportation trial site in Australia for an autonomous aka self-driving passenger vehicle. EasyMile, an autonomous vehicle startup based in France has deployed Australia’s first EasyMile EZ10 Self-driving Electric Shuttle at the Darwin Waterfront commenced on the 15 February 2017. The self-driving shuttle trial run operates on a repeat loop at the Darwin Waterfront for a period of six months.
This will be the first time an autonomous vehicle will be used as a transport solution in Australia. The first stage of the trial will cost the Northern Territory Government approximately $150,000.
Members of the public are invited to experience this first hand. Running three trips an hour, the EasyMile EZ10 autonomous vehicle will operate twice daily from Indo-Pacific Marine to Stokes Hill Wharf.
The hours of operation are:
- 11:30 am to 1.30 pm
- 4 pm to 8pm
Riding on the EZ10 self-driving shuttle is free! However riders must book the ride ticket at waterfront.nt.gov.au.
The Government wants feedback from riders about their commuting experience on the self-driving electric shuttle. All riders will be asked to complete a survey to help provide information to assist in assessing the success and outcomes of the trial. This will help inform future decisions about how the technology might be considered and used.
Those who complete the survey will have the opportunity to win a prize at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct.
The survey can be filled out at waterfront.nt.gov.au
The EZ10 self-driving electric shuttle provides zero emissions when operating, is fully air-conditioned and capable of carrying up to 12 passengers at one time. The vehicle can provide up to 12 hours of operation per charge.
The Darwin Waterfront Self-Driving Shuttle project marks the entry of the Northern Territory government in the autonomous vehicles initiatives joining the elites around the globe ie Singapore, Dubai/UAE, France, Netherlands, California and Japan in making autonomous vehicles the future of public transportation solutions.