Countdown on to catch Queensland's driverless bus

RACQ’s autonomous Smart Shuttle would take its final lap around the small south east Queensland suburb of Raby Bay on 26 June following a seven month on-road trial.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Susan Furze said the Club had partnered with Redland City Council since November last year to trial the six-seater EasyMile driverless bus at Raby Bay after a successful first trial on Karragarra Island finished earlier in 2020. 

“This ground-breaking experiment tested the technology safely in a live-traffic environment and required the bus to make its way around a fixed loop from the local harbour along Masthead Drive to the Raby Bay Foreshore Park,” Ms Furze said.

“It’s been an incredible opportunity to study how we can best integrate driverless technology onto our roads, and we look forward to collating all the feedback we’ve received from passengers as well as those who have shared the road with the bus.

“We’ll now be looking closely at the learnings and data from the trials at both Raby Bay and Karragarra Island to help us better understand and develop how driverless transport options could help serve communities in the future.

“There’s huge potential for autonomous buses to become part of our wider transport network and we continue to look at opportunities to deploy the RACQ Smart Shuttle for future studies.

“Our vision is for all Queenslanders to have access to safe, affordable and sustainable transport options, so these real-world trials greatly help us to realise future possibilities.”

Redlands City Mayor Karen Williams said Redlands Coast faced a number of transport challenges; and by partnering with RACQ in these trials, Council had demonstrated its commitment to finding innovative ways to help our residents overcome these challenges.

“More than 1,340 passengers have taken a free ride on the Raby Bay circuit, with the vehicle travelling more than 3,000 kilometres since November last year,” Cr Williams said.

“I’d like to thank Raby Bay residents for their patience while the trial has been underway.

“The valuable insights gained will help guide Council’s policy development and advocacy efforts with relation to transport within the city and linking to our region.
 
“We are happy to have played our part and wish RACQ well as their Smart Shuttle leaves Redlands Coast to continue its journey on other Queensland roads.”