The future is now

Article image - The future is now Urban Institute’s Simon Kaplan, Cr Paul Tully and Smarter Technology Solutions’ Cambell Priest plug in the Tesla Model S 90D driverless car at the ‘smart pole’.

City of Ipswich, Queensland, has treated residents to a taste of the future with a chance to ride on a futuristic electric self-driving shuttle that was on display last month.

City of Ipswich Mayor, Andrew Antoniolli, said the demonstration of the EasyMile EZ10, was an exciting component of the city’s Smart City program.

“The city’s credentials as an innovation hub have been recognised globally.

“Ipswich was recently the only Australian city to be included in the world’s top seven Intelligent Communities of the Year, which is a culmination of technology-based activities throughout the city.

“The theme for this year’s awards was Humanising Data, and this trial is very much about finding solutions to make a more liveable place. As a Smart City, driverless technology is a long-term transport prospect, and one we are certainly investigating.”

The EZ10 has been designed to cover short pre-defined routes. Embedded and localisation technologies designed by EasyMile help it navigate the route.

It uses the latest technology to safely respond to environmental changes like moving pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.
Each vehicle can carry up to 12 people (6 seats and 6 standing positions) and is accessible to people with disabilities thanks to an access ramp.

Economic Development and Digital City Committee chairman Councillor Paul Tully said Ipswich had already installed electric car chargers on smart light poles.

The smart pole does more than street lighting – while charging the car the driver can browse the internet with the free Wi-Fi, and check the pole’s display for the weather conditions.
“It also has an SOS beacon connected to council’s 24-hour Safe City control room. The LED streetlight can also be dimmed and controlled remotely.”

The City is also about to start Australia’s largest cooperative intelligent transport system program.

“This program will fit about 500 cars with the most advanced technology to help avoid accidents, be aware of traffic congestion in real-time, keep cars to speed limits, warn drivers of bicycle riders and pedestrians, and help drivers brake safely.

“This trial of the EasyMile shuttle is yet another example which shows that companies are putting their faith in Ipswich as a test bed for the world’s latest and best technology.”