Driverless bus proposed for patients

A PROPOSED on-demand, driverless bus (pictured) will connect patients at the Lyell McEwin Hospital to the old Holden carpark in an attempt to solve parking issues.

The proposed service is an Australian first, providing a 15-seater bus that will travel between the sites, freeing up parking near to the hospital for patients.

The project will unfold in two stages – the first being a six-month trial of the carpark-to-hospital route, and the second being a sixmonth trial of a 50-seater bus that will connect the Elizabeth train station to the Elizabeth City Centre precinct.

If successful, Playford Council will be given the 50-seater bus to continue the route in the future.

Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the trial supports Playford Council’s ‘Smart City Project’ and will be part of the regional ‘Health Precinct’ project.

“The Oldham Road path has been selected as it is low risk, but also addresses a genuine problem – the lack of parking availability in the immediate health precinct,” he said.

“This is an Australian first, connecting the existing train system to a driverless bus, making it a simple and easy process and improving the way people get around our city.

“People will be able to get on an express train from Adelaide to Elizabeth, step straight onto a driverless shuttle and (have it) connect them to the Health Precinct, Civic Centre, Grenville Centre and the Prince George Plaza.”

The service will be linked to a mobile phone app, where users can call the bus to a stop every 200m along the route.

Playford Council began talks with driverless bus company Easy Mile last year over the possibility of creating a driverless bus route.

A spokesperson for the North Adelaide Local Health Network said planning of the  proposal is part of the Lyell McEwin Health Precinct master plan, and involved an extensive traffic study.

“It (the traffic study) recognised that a growing local population and expanding health precinct would lead to an increase in local traffic management issues,” he said.

“This autonomous shuttle will provide a safe, reliable and convenient service for patients and visitors to the hospital, as well as reduce the number of vehicles in the hospital precinct.”

Transit Australia Group will run the project from the ZD Lemforder site in Edinburgh Parks.

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