RAA-supported autonomous bus trial progresses

1 September, 2022

Flinders University’s innovative driverless bus at Tonsley will continue to test new mobility technology as it enters the second stage of its trial.

Phase two of the Flinders University Express Shuttle (FLEX), which is supported by RAA, plans to provide on-demand services for residents, improve the vehicle’s autonomous driving, and establish a remote operations control centre to replace on-board chaperones.

RAA Senior Manager Mobility Technology Specialist Mark Borlace says RAA sees great opportunity in the technology to increase mobility options for all, especially older Australians and others that are looking to transition out of driving.

“As a member organisation with a strong heritage in motoring, we want to be there for all 790,000 of our members well into the future.

“The work done on FLEX by Flinders University and the State Government has been world leading, and we’re proud to support them, share our expertise and watch the technology evolve.”

Flinders University Head of Civil Engineering, Professor Rocco Zito, says the trial aims to understand how different infrastructure could increase the accessibility of driverless vehicles.

“Stage two of the FLEX trial will develop further understanding on the system requirements for automated vehicles by establishing Tonsley as an AV test bed for future trials and operations.

“It’s important to learn how the use of automated vehicle technology can be adapted into our future planning with the integration of other technologies, so stage two of the FLEX trial can provide greater insights into developing the physical infrastructure and technology required to provide better services for the public and we’re encouraging everyone to try it out.”

In March the FLEX autonomous bus spent time at RAA’s workshop where it was serviced by a team of overseas-based engineers from NAVYA.

The bus operates five days a week from 10am to 2pm.