It’s a win for Australia’s first regional automated vehicle initiative, utilising Papercast solar powered e-paper displays
The Coffs Harbour Automated Vehicle Trial, known as BusBot, has won the Automated Vehicle Award in the ITS Australia National Awards 2019, utilising Papercast solar powered e-paper displays to provide accurate travel information to service users at their bus stops.
ITS Australia National Awards are a celebration of excellence in the Intelligent Transport Systems industry, hosted annually by ITS Australia. The program reinforces Australian ITS capability and its position as a world leader in ITS. The announcement was made at a presentation night dinner on 21 November 2019 in Adelaide.
The automated passenger vehicle trial is a NSW Government initiative, led in partnership between Transport for NSW, local bus operator Busways, Coffs Harbour City Council, vehicle manufacturer EasyMile and using Via’s on-demand app. BusBot is the first Australian study of driverless buses in regional communities, carrying more than 7,500 passengers aged from 1-103 during the first two phases of the trial. The aim is to develop a sustainable business model and blueprint which can be scaled to multiple operations around the country to accelerate the safe introduction of AVs onto Australian roads.
BusBot progresses to the more complex objectives of phase two with Papercast technology
The Papercast solar powered e-paper bus stop displays enable direct real-time communication to customers at each bus stop. The e-paper screens show live arrival times as well as information about the route, the driverless vehicles and the pilot. The controller can also push service notifications to a route or area in real-time and an interactive survey enables passengers to provide feedback using the push buttons on the display. The displays also come with a text to speech function, so with a push of a button it will announce the next service to arrive at the stop.
“Receiving this award for a project based on finding future transport solutions demonstrates how important these trials are – it’s fantastic to be a part of it,” said Byron Rowe, Managing Director of Busways.
This was the first in a three-phase trial where the technology is being tested in more complex environments as the trial progresses. The technical capabilities were proven through three-phases of increasing complexity, passing all safety tests and providing evidence to show AVs do have potential for regional Australian transport.
“We are thrilled to be part of this cutting-edge project, and that the hard work of the collaborating partners has been recognised in this way,” concludes Robert Bicket, CEO at Papercast.