Our days of thanking the driver may soon be over, as the EasyMile “EZ10” will make its debut in Ireland this month. The EZ10 is a self-driving electric shuttle bus capable of carrying up to 15 people, ideally over a short distance.
This exact purpose will be demonstrated by Dublin City Council as part of their “Smart Docklands” project on the 21st and 22nd of September. An EZ10 will be running a shuttle route between the 3Arena and the Dublin Convention Centre, with 4 stops along the way – a route of just under one kilometre.
What’s truly remarkable is that there will be no disruption to regular traffic in the area, as the EZ10 needs no extra road infrastructure or supervision whatsoever. It’s guided by a plethora of cameras, sensors, and failsafes that ensure any trip passes without incident. According to a report by the University of Michigan’s Transport Research Institute, the average amount of crashes per million miles for self-driving cars is 9.1, so if you are a little nervous about trying this out, the chances of you crashing during the ~2km journey are 1/804762, or 0.0001%. All EZ10s are supervised by EasyMile’s fleet management software, which further helps to prevent crashes.
The EZ10 is already operating in 20 other countries, with daily routes in countries such as China and the US. While this docklands route isn’t a permanent fixture, it’s an excellent display of the sort of technology that could be deployed in Ireland. The event isn’t limited to just the EZ10 either, there will be e-bikes, car clubs, and electric scooters on display as well, all designed to provide an idea of what the future holds for transport in Ireland.
If you want to take a ride in the EZ10 for free, it’ll be running between 2pm and 5pm on Friday the 21st of September, and 11am and 5pm on Saturday the 22nd of September. Whether or not we’ll see one again here in Ireland is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, this is an exciting glimpse of the future.