Coffs Harbour BusBot Trial

Coffs Harbour BusBot Trial

The future of passenger transport has arrived in Coffs Harbour, NSW with implementation of the BusBot automated shuttle trial. 

BusBot is an EasyMile EZ10 Generation 2 automated vehicle that has been successfully trialled in national and international locations including South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Singapore.

The trial was a NSW Government initiative, being led in partnership between Transport for NSW, Busways, Coffs Harbour City Council and EasyMile.

This project explored how connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology can improve transport mobility and service outcomes for customers including:

  • increased vehicle safety technology
  • reduced vehicle emissions and
  • additional on-road mobility options.

BusBot's key achievements and world firsts

  • First automated shuttle in the world to provide an on-demand service in an independent living village.
  • First automated shuttle in the world to provide a fully automated public transport service without an on-board supervisor. 
  • First automated vehicle in Australia to integrate with an on-demand smartphone app.
  • Winner of the Best Automated Vehicle Award at Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Australia national awards.
  • More than 11, 000 passengers have travelled onboard the BusBot.

Key phases

BusBot is a multiple phase project consisting of 3 key phases:

Phase 1

The EasyMile CAV travelled along the Coffs Harbour Northern Breakwall to Mutton Bird Island, giving local residents and tourists the opportunity to experience the CAV within a high-profile, controlled environment.

Phase 2

The CAV entered Marian Grove Independent Living Village to address the mobility needs of an ageing population. An on-demand service was also tested using technology developed by Via.

Phase 3a

During phase three BusBot operated through the Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens. This phased focused on developing the operational experience and safety assurance measures to take the on-board supervisor out of the vehicle.

Phase 3b

In its final phase, the onboard supervisor was removed from the BusBot shuttle and remote supervision was introduced. 

About the BusBot EZ10 shuttle

The EZ10 BusBot incorporates multiple layers of redundancy to maximise the safety of passengers, pedestrians, other road users and the vehicle. This includes:

  • redundant coverage by sensors, with sensors provided by different suppliers mitigating risk of single sensor failure
  • fail-safe and redundant braking system, with the EZ10 fitted with several independent braking systems
  • redundant industry-grade emergency buttons.

The graphic below (PDF, 10.96 MB) shows the operational characteristics of the EZ10.

Find out more information about BusBot.

Community feedback

Community feedback and engagement was a fundamental component of the trial. Community members were encouraged to provide their thoughts on the trial through short surveys as their ticket to ride on the vehicle.

Customer survey analysis and feedback from phase 3 can be viewed here (PDF, 194.94 KB).

Next steps

After delivering 11,000 passenger trips, the Coffs Harbour BusBot completed its last journey late November 2021.

The learnings taken from the BusBot trial have begun paving the way for exploration and deployment of the next generation of autonomous vehicle technology.

BusBot video gallery

BusBot image gallery