Qui­etly go­ing about busi­ness

Robot shut­tle is well-es­tab­lished, serv­ing Europe for decades

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

MEET the EZ10, a driver­less shut­tle that is qui­etly — lit­er­ally — hum­ming about its busi­ness in Spain, Switzer­land and France.

Built by EasyMile, a joint ven­ture be­tween Ligier Group and Sin­ga­pore­based Ro­bosoft, the EZ10 is an elec­tric shut­tle de­signed to cover short dis­tances on pre­de­fined routes.

On EasyMile’s web­site, the two com­pa­nies’ ex­per­tise is listed as light-weight ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion process in the case of the French com­pany Ligier, and robot as­sem­bly in the case of Ro­bosoft.

Founded in 1971 and with a back­ground in mo­tor rac­ing, in­clud­ing 20 years in For­mula 1, Ligier is the sec­ond largest Euro­pean mi­cro­car provider and has been build­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles since 2008.

Ro­bosoft’s ro­bots have been work­ing in hos­pi­tals and mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions for over 30 years, but more im­por­tantly, its robot trams have also safely trans­ported over 1,5 mil­lion peo­ple in Euro­pean recre­ation parks.

The EZ10 com­bines all this ex­per­tise in an elec­tric peo­ple mover that can trans­port up to 12 peo­ple, with six of them seated.

Run­ning on “vir­tual tracks”, the shut­tle has no steer­ing wheel, or a front or back. A lithium-ion bat­tery pack can power the shut­tle at 20 km/m for about 50 km, de­pend­ing on the ter­rain, for about eight hours. The vir­tual tracks the EZ10 runs on can be eas­ily con­fig­ured us­ing GPS to ac­com­mo­date new de­liva ery points or timeta­bles, and EasyMile says the sys­tem has been de­fended against hack­ers.

The EZ10 uses vi­sion, laser and dif­fer­en­tial GPS to avoid col­li­sions and tech­ni­cal fail­ures.

Fleet man­age­ment soft­ware en­ables the re­mote and real-time mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol of the fleet of EZ10 shut­tles.

The EasyMile JV will ar­rive next in the Gar­dens by the Bay park in Sin­ga­pore, with a pi­lot run­ning dur­ing De­cem­ber and roll-out com­menc­ing next year.

“Ro­bosoft’s ro­bots have been work­ing in hos­pi­tals and mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions for over 30 years.”

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The EZ10, a driver­less shut­tle.

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