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South Australia launches autonomous vehicle trial

Photo Credit: Infrastructure Magazine

The South Australian Government had recently launched a free autonomous vehicle trial that will deliver a first and last mile service between the Playford Alive Township and the Munno Para Train Station.

As reported, the autonomous electric bus will run approximately every half hour on weekdays and will carry passengers from the Munno Para Railway Station to the Playford Alive Township, including stops at Mark Oliphant College and the Stretton Centre.

About the initiative

The free autonomous shuttle bus service will include a morning and afternoon service window, with passengers collected from designated pick up points on the route.

The Munno Para service is phase two of the Playford Connect autonomous bus trial.

It follows phase one, which provided a free park and ride service from the Lionsgate Carpark through to the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Elizabeth Vale from October 2018 to June 2019.

Phase two of the trial is a joint project between the City of Playford, a French autonomous vehicle manufacturer, the State Government and a local intelligent transport system specialists company.

The State Government is continuing to explore innovative opportunities to provide better public transport services.

It has supported the trial through the Future Mobility Lab Fund.

This fund aims to encourage and stimulate developments in connected and autonomous vehicles, and position South Australia at the forefront of these emerging technologies.

Utilising technology in improving transportation

This trial is a great example of how new technology can be embraced to deliver better services and fill gaps that exist in the network.

As the project takes place in an open road environment, it is also about understanding how passengers and other road users interact with driverless technology.

The City of Playford and more generally the Adelaide Metropolitan Area are seen as ideal environments for the integration of autonomous shuttles to help address public transport challenges.

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said that their city is an ideal location to trial this type of technology.

They are proud to be playing a part in shaping future transport mobility for communities like theirs.

As a growing city, they are embracing technology to transition from traditional industries into the digital economy.

This bus trial provides a chance for Playford residents to embrace new technology that increases mobility and access to one of the city’s busiest areas.

This trial is particularly important in preparation of vehicle performance in mixed traffic conditions.

Website boosts foster care

In other news, a new and more engaging foster care recruitment website is attracting strong attention from potential carers, generating almost 80 online enquiries in its first month.

The website guides visitors through a questionnaire. The questionnaire asks about their living situation, cultural background, age and work, highlighting the diversity of people who can help a child or young person in need.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said increasing family-based care gives children and young people a greater sense of permanence, stability and belonging.

The new website has been designed to be interactive and engaging for potential foster carers and debunk some of the myths about suitability for becoming a foster carer.

It is one of a number of steps that the State Government is taking to increase family-based care, including the establishment of a Carer and Recruitment Taskforce and streamlining approaches to foster care recruitment, assessment and training.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson shared that the new website is a positive start and a fantastic first step for people thinking about becoming a foster carer.

She added that they are always looking for more loving, safe, nurturing homes for children and young people who come into care because it is no longer safe for them to live with their birth parents.

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