Driverless shuttle manufacturer EasyMile has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transit Australia Group (TAG) and the State Government of South Australia to deliver autonomous vehicles into South Australia and Asia Pacific markets.
As part of the MoU, EasyMile will establish its ANZ headquarters in Adelaide, while TAG will establish the National Operations Control Centre to manage EasyMile’s autonomous vehicles in the region.
“South Australia has taken the lead when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology, which has provided us with this opportunity to attract EasyMile to Adelaide,” said David Ridgway, South Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
“Transit Australia Group’s autonomous electric buses will be built in Adelaide for both domestic and export markets.
“This agreement further cements our State’s position as the preferred location for development and deployment of autonomous mobility in the Asia Pacific region.”
EasyMile is partnering with the city of Playford to begin testing its shuttles on local roads in the coming months.
The Playford Connect trial, supported by a grant from the state government's Future Mobility Lab Fund, will see driverless shuttles transport passengers between the city’s Lyell McEwin Hospital and its car park and bus stops. The autonomous shuttle trial will later extend to link the Elizabeth shopping centre with existing bus and train hubs.
“South Australia is the perfect ‘test bed’ for our autonomous vehicle technology, and we’re keen to invest in skilling a new workforce and building on the state’s existing AV ecosystem,” said EasyMile Chief Executive Gilbert Gagnaire.
“Our vision for South Australia is to provide customer centric transport solutions to address public transport challenges, leading to the creation of a new industry for the state.”
TAG CEO Michael McGee said: “We have combined world-leading autonomous vehicle products and technology with our expertise and innovation in designing and operating mass transit networks.”
The company believes that South Australia has the opportunity to benefit hugely from the autonomous vehicle market.
“Through our partnership with EasyMile, the various trials across Australia and New Zealand will expand the local knowledge, skills and capabilities around driverless vehicle technology, operations and maintenance,” continued McGee.