Gold Coast Smart Shuttle Trial – Main Beach

  • Project typeRoads & transport
  • Project scheduleDecember 2021 to December 2022
  • Completion date31 December 2022
Gold Coast Smart Shuttle Autonomous Vehicle

About the trial

The Gold Coast Smart Shuttle trial is part of a broader autonomous vehicle research program conducted by RACQ. The purpose of the trial was to identify key learnings and collect data, enabling the Gold Coast to evolve into a smarter city and prepare for a future transport ecosystem that embraces technology.

Innovative technologies, including autonomous vehicles, can contribute to sustainable transport outcomes by:

  • helping to reduce congestion
  • improving road safety
  • providing alternatives to car travel
  • supporting mobility
  • providing better connectivity between mainstream public transport, such as light rail, and key destination points. 

Following two successful deployments of the RACQ Smart Shuttle on the Redlands Coast, the trial on the Gold Coast sought to increase the level of complexity and further understand the capabilities of the shuttle to operate in a live traffic environment.

For information on previous trials visit RACQ Smart Shuttle.

What the community thought about the Smart Shuttle trial

Towards the conclusion of the trial period, the City conducted a customer experience survey of more than 120 people passengers and observers. The survey found that the respondents were supportive of the Smart Shuttle.

Findings from the survey include:

  • A large majority (93%) of respondents believed technology had a role to play in improving future transport.
  • All passenger respondents said they felt safe on the shuttle, enjoyed the trip, and would likely use it again.
  • Seventy-four per cent (74%) of passengers were traveling solely to trial an autonomous vehicle, while others used the shuttle to access work, the shops, and the beach.
  • Of the respondents to the survey who had not yet ridden the smart shuttle, 81% were positive about the shuttle and 86% intended to use the service in the future.
  • The majority of responses were positive about the shuttle, however a small number of issues were raised about its impact on traffic and parking in the Main Beach area.

Extension of the trial

We are continuing investigation and discussion with the community and transport partners regarding a potential future second phase of the trial.