USQ Springfield students get a taste of the future
CATCHING a bus to university is nothing new, unless it's a bus that has no driver.
USQ Springfield students heading to class for the first day of Semester One were able to travel on a driverless shuttle bus as part of a six-day autonomous vehicle trial that started at Springfield Central today.
The EasyMile EZ10 electric shuttle travelled from Orion Lagoon and continued along John Nugent Way - from tomorrow the bus will also be traveling to USQ's Springfield campus.
Among those who jumped aboard for a free ride was first-year Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student Sophrenia Holland.
Miss Holland said she was excited to be one of the first passengers to experience driverless technology at Springfield.
"It was a pretty smooth ride and very quiet. I really enjoyed it," she said.
"It was pretty cool to see what the future might hold."
Miss Holland uses public transport to travel from her home in Booval to university and work, but believed autonomous vehicles could be the way of the future.
"It's still in that pioneering stage, but there is going to be a need for new forms of transportation," she said.
"I would have no fears travelling in one on them (autonomous vehicle) and I reckon a lot of other people would love it too."
The EasyMile EZ10 shuttle carries up to 12 people and can reach speeds up to 40kmh. But its journey along John Nugent Way was limited to little more than walking pace.
EasyMile Business Development and Project Manager of Asia-Pacific Adwait Kale said it wasn't a coincidence the shuttle trial was taking place during the first week of university classes.
"After collaborating with Ipswich City Council through its Smart City program and Transdev, we decided it was important the trial was done at a time and location that would get the most usage," Mr Kale said.
"It's been wonderful to see so many students using the shuttle and interesting to hear their thoughts because their views and feedback are vital to us."