Science and Technology

FLEXible use case – enhancing the Tonsley shuttle trial

Using the lessons learnt from the Flinders Express (FLEX) autonomous shuttle trial conducted at the Tonsley Innovation District by Flinders University, the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, RAA and other industry supporters, this project will deliver new and innovative use cases for FLEX.

The use cases will investigate, ‘What’s next?’, with operational modes for autonomous vehicles (AV) by delivering use cases such as removing the on-board operator, using vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications to improve performance and safety through traffic signal intersections, trialling on-demand services, and finally, developing a living lab that will serve as a future test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).


Project background

The Flinders (FLEX) shuttle was South Australia’s first AV trial using public roads to offer a first- and last-mile shuttle service to the Clovelly Park train station within the Tonsley Innovation District.

The project has received support from the South Australian Government’s Future Mobility Lab Fund which is aimed at the testing and trialling of automated vehicle technologies.

This next phase of the project will continue to build on the lessons learnt from the initial project and develop new and innovative use cases for FLEX. These use cases will investigate new operational modes for AVs, use vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications technologies to improve performance, and finally, develop a living lab that will serve as a future test bed for CAV.

See the full list of iMOVE projects here

Project objectives

FLEX has been operating at its optimum on the fixed route within the Tonsley Innovation District. It is proposed that the new use cases and objectives below be developed at Tonsley in a collaborative project between iMOVE, the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Flinders University, RAA, SAGE Automation, and Keolis Downer:

1. Commence operating FLEX without a chaperone on part of the route,
2. V2X test bed

  • Complete V2I testing at Alawoona Avenue traffic lights
  • Other message usage

3. Introduction of an on-demand service
4. Develop an AV Living Lab at Tonsley, including:

  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) trial
  • V2X test bed

The above are new use cases listed in priority order as determined by the stakeholders. These use cases provide a step increase in the research and understanding toward commercial operations of AVs. The delivery of these use cases and the knowledge obtained will lead to the following project objectives:

  • Deliver a safety case and trial for the safe operation of a ‘chaperoneless’/remote operator autonomous shuttle on public roads.
  • Deliver the requirements for the successful implementation of V2I communications at an intersection and across a road network to ensure efficiency and safety outcomes.
  • Develop an understanding and deliver a use case that trials AV on-demand services.
  • Deliver a use case that trials CAV as a mode in a MaaS application.

Flinders will make available the enabling AV-related infrastructure at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in order to allow CAV to test and implement various use cases.

Tonsley shuttle trial

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