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Flinders University driverless shuttle ready for the public to try

driverless shuttle
The FLEX driverless shuttle, and Flinders University Head of Civil Engineering, Professor Rocco Zito. Source: Flinders University

Flinders University has taken delivery of its driverless shuttle, and this week will see it go into action around Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation District.

The shuttle, named FLEX (FLinders EXpress), is a Navya Arma electric shuttle, holding up to 15 passengers, and for this trial, at speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. The vehicle is capable of a speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

Australian university campuses are a hotbed of driverless shuttle action, with this trial at Flinders University joining others running at LaTrobe University and the University of Melbourne.

In this trial Flinders University is working with iMOVE partners the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA), Cohda Wireless, and Telstra, along with industry supporters Renewal SA, SAGE Automation, UPG, ZenEnergy and public transport operator Keolis Downer.

Where will the FLEX driverless shuttle run?

FLEX is part of a 5-year trial of autonomous vehicle technology on South Australian roads. The first stage of this trial will take passengers on a route between Clovelly Park Train Station and Tonsley’s Main Assembly Building, then connecting to bus stops on the main South Road and businesses within the Tonsley precinct.

Within the next 12 months the trial will expand to Flinders Medical Centre and the University’s Bedford Park campus, and then on to main arterial roads around the entire Bedford Park precinct.

FLEX and the general public… like to book a free ride?

If you’d like to take a ride on the FLEX driverless shuttle, visit the Flinders University’s FLEX page to make a booking. Rides are free, and booking times are 10am until 2pm, weekdays.

“Demonstrations and trials of these driverless vehicles that involve the community are a really good way of building acceptance of this type of new technology,” says Professor Rocco Zito, Flinders University Head of Civil Engineering.

“Our aim is not to prove the technology but rather expose the public to this new type of transport service and learn from their responses and reactions to help driverless vehicles gain general acceptance.”

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