Autonomous vehicle technology company EasyMile, Transit Australia Group (TAG) and the South Australian Government have joined forces to create an autonomous vehicle hub in Adelaide.
The three partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July, which will see EasyMile and TAG, a mass transit specialist, deliver autonomous vehicles to Australian and Asia Pacific markets.
‘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 autonomous vehicle ecosystem,’ says Gilbert Gagnaire, Chief Executive, EasyMile.
South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway adds that TAG’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,’ he says.
Australia offers an ideal market to develop, innovate and refine new modes of transport and transport technology.
Australian transport ministers have agreed to a phased reform agenda so that highly and fully automated vehicles can operate safely and legally on Australian roads from 2020. The Australian Government is releasing bandwidth for dedicated Cooperative ITS (C-ITS) and spending over A$200 million on satellite and GPS technology.
Meanwhile, other state governments and universities are also partnering with EasyMile on vehicle trials and research. In July 2018, the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey announced the NSW Government is partnering with EasyMile, Busways, Coffs Harbour City Council and Via to trial level-four EZ10 vehicles with capacity to seat 12 passengers.
The northern NSW trial comes after an earlier partnership deal in Victoria. In April 2018, EasyMile signed a three-year research and development agreement with the University of Melbourne to develop autonomous technology and integrated transport solutions.