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The RACQ Smart Shuttle will operate a series of trials over five years to explore the potential for autonomous vehicles to address various transport issues, including transport disadvantage. The trials will also expand understanding about the safety of autonomous vehicles, their suitability to Queensland driving conditions and how they interact with other road users.

Phase one of the trial program, Redlands Coast Smart Mobility Trial, is a joint initiative between the RACQ and Redlands City Council, with the support of SEQ Council of Mayors and is Queensland’s first full on-road trial of an autonomous vehicle on Karragarra Island in Queensland’s Moreton Bay.

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Karragarra Island Trial, Redlands Coast

Karragarra Island is a small island community in the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. Residents rely upon a ferry service to travel to and from the mainland and there is no public transport service on the island. The trial will provide a transport connection for residents and visitors from the ferry terminal to the wider community.

Karragarra island

Route map

Hours of operation

The RACQ Smart Shuttle will run weekdays during the following hours of operation:

  • 1st Shift – 6.45am to 11.45am
  • 2nd Shift – 1.45pm to 6.15pm

A timetable of services will be announced closer to the launch of operations.

How long is the trial running?

The Karragarra Trial will run for six months commencing early November 2019.

How can I get involved or find out more about the trial?

Please see Redland City Council’s redland.qld.gov.au/RACQSmartShuttle for more information about the trial, the vehicle and for any service disruption updates.

Will there be an operator/driver?

While the RACQ Smart Shuttle is fully autonomous, a chaperone will be on board to assist passengers, administer user surveys and to answer any questions regarding the technology, safety and operation of the Shuttle.

The chaperone will also be able to manually operate the shuttle if required.

Chaperones are employed by Redlands City Council and are accredited transport operators.

How can I ride the shuttle?

The RACQ Smart Shuttle will operate on a fixed loop route, starting at the ferry terminal, continuing along The Esplanade; Maryanne St and Treasure Island Ave. A timetable of services will be coordinated with ferry arrivals and passengers can hop on or off at one of eight bus stops along the route.

The shuttle will be free to passengers.

Get to know the RACQ Smart Shuttle

The RACQ Smart Shuttle is the EasyMile EZ10 model. EasyMile has operated in 21 countries and have transported more than 320,000 passengers over 250,000km without serious incident.

The RACQ Smart Shuttle uses autonomous driving systems and multiple lidar to navigate the route and detect and react to any obstacle in the shuttles pathway.

Other features of the RACQ Smart Shuttle include:

  • Level 4 - high automation
  • Fully electric
  • Seats 6 plus 6 standing
  • Electric ramp for wheelchair access
  • Maximum trial speed - 20km/hr
  • Seatbelts onboard
  • Obstacle detection - within 40 metres

See the Smart Shuttle in action

Karragarra smart shuttle bus

FAQ Questions + Answers

  • The trial will be on Karragarra Island, part of the Redlands Coast Southern Islands.
  • The trial is anticipated to begin in early-November 2019.
  • The trial will run for approximately 6 months.
  • The trial’s route and weekly timetable will be advised closer to deployment.

Karragarra Island has limited transport mode choice. Currently, there is no public transport available on the island. There is a reliance on private vehicles for trips, especially getting to and from the ferry terminal. Karragarra Island is a low traffic and low speed environment, which is an ideal open-road environment to trial autonomous technology.

The Easymile EZ10 smart shuttle is owned by RACQ. Redland City Council will be the operator and service provider of the FREE passenger service as part of the Queensland Government’s Conditional Permit for the trial. The trial requires an on-board chaperone to assist patrons and take manual control of the vehicle if needed.
We welcome anybody (residents and visitors) to come and experience the service and share their thoughts on the trial by providing feedback either while catching the smart shuttle service or online on Redland City Council’s https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/RACQSmartShuttle

The Easymile EZ10 smart shuttle has an automated ramp, which can be deployed at the press of a button providing easy access. The vehicle can also lower to provide improved gradient and safety.

The on-board chaperone will also be appropriately trained to provide assistance to patrons with a disability or impaired mobility.

Please see Redland City Council’s redland.qld.gov.au/RACQSmartShuttle for more information about the trial, the vehicle and for any service disruption updates.

No, the road will continue to function as an open road during the trial. A key objective of the trial is to assess the safety and performance of autonomous technology in an open road environment.

Council will need to undertake minor work on the roads and install signage as part of the trial, but these works will be limited to ensure minimal disruption to the local amenity.

Signage will include bus stop locations, localisation signage for the smart shuttle and information signage at the ferry terminal providing key information about the project and smart shuttle.

Without specific infrastructure or ground sensors, the EZ10 follows a prerecorded virtual line in its software. It thus borrows a predefined network of routes. The EZ10 relies on the fusion of several sensors (localisation lasers, GPS, odometry and cameras) to navigate and localise itself.
To maximize safety and obstacle detection, various sensors and detection lasers have been installed all around the vehicle. They allow the EZ10 to see and detect obstacles over 50 meters around it. Depending on the speed of the vehicle and its distance to the obstacle, the sensors slow down or stop the vehicle safely.

EasyMile has operated in 21 countries and have transported more than 320,000 passengers over 250,000km without serious incident.

To further ensure safety, a number of dynamic vehicle tests using the shuttle have been successfully completed as part of the conditional permit provided by the Queensland Government prior to commencing the Karragarra trial.

The shuttle speed will be limited to a maximum of 20 km/hr.
When not in use, the Smart Shuttle will be securely stored in a purpose-built location and will not impact on parking on Karragarra.

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