The State Government will sign an MOU with specialist Transit Australia Group (TAG) and French company EasyMile to deliver autonomous vehicles into South Australia and Asia Pacific markets.
The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway, will today sign the MOU which will see EasyMile establish its ANZ headquarters in Adelaide, and TAG establish a national Operations Control Centre for ongoing management of autonomous vehicles in the ANZ 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 Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.
“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.
“It’s likely to open further opportunities to connect businesses with our other sectors including defence, space and agri-business thereby increasing investment and trade opportunities across South Australia.”
Partnering with the City of Playford, with the support of a $350,000 grant from the State Government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, EasyMile will begin testing its shuttles on local roads in the coming months.
The Playford Connect trial will be the first validation in South Australia of EasyMile’s autonomous vehicles and its technology platform.
Initially, the shuttle will transport passengers between the Lyell McEwin Hospital to the carpark and bus stops.
The trial will eventually be extended to provide a shuttle service around the perimeter of the Elizabeth shopping centre, linking people to 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.”
“EasyMile commend South Australia for taking a lead in autonomous vehicles in Australia and look forward to working closely with the South Australian Government,” said EasyMile Head ANZ Mr Simon Pearce.
“We have combined world-leading autonomous vehicle products and technology with our expertise and innovation in designing and operating mass transit networks,” said TAG CEO Michael McGee.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with a world leader and explore how we can integrate this emerging technology into existing public transport systems as a ‘first and last mile’ mobility solution.”
Mr McGee said South Australia also had the opportunity to benefit immensely from the emerging 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,” he says.
“South Australia has the opportunity to emerge as a leader in this new and exciting industry and we are already looking at opportunities to locally manufacture and assemble autonomous vehicles following a successful trial.”
EasyMile hopes to extend its trials beyond Adelaide into regional South Australia in a bid to assist these communities address a range of transport challenges.
The Renmark Paringa Council has shown great interest to run an autonomous electric shuttle trial in Renmark.
This week, a EZY10 shuttle will be on display in Renmark to demonstrate EasyMile’s intent to address transport challenges for the elderly and those with disabilities in the regions.