Taking a spin in a self-driving car and other futuristic adventures at North Ipswich Reserve

Ipswich’s Smart City pilot technology is speeding towards real-world benefits.
There’s only about 1000 of these Tesla Model S 90D vehicles in Australia – and we are passengers in one of these sleek, futuristic cars as it drives itself at speed along Pine Street, North Ipswich.

The owner is in the driver’s seat, his hands at the wheel and feet near the pedals, but he happily informs us the car is in control.

There’s a surge of adrenalin as the smooth and near-silent car steers itself while GPS and sensors guide it without human intervention.

And a brief moment of fear as traffiic brakes ahead – the $180,000 Tesla still has momentum towards a steel tray ute – but it stops, applying the brakes effortlessly.

The Tesla is visiting Ipswich as part of testing a new multifunctional Smight Air Streetlight at North Ipswich Reserve’s Smart City pilot site.

What looks like a simple pole integrates free public Wi-Fi, intelligent lighting, environmental monitoring, SOS beacon and electric car charging.

Economic Development and Digital City Committee chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said it showed Ipswich’s Smart City pilot technology was important to the changing needs of modern life.

“This is really exciting – a futuristic electric car with self-driving capability topping up its ‘fuel’ at North Ipswich Reserve,” he said.

The ‘smart pole’ at Ipswich Reserve is one of the first electric car charging stations in Ipswich.

The Smight Air Streetlight’s charging station has a Type 2 standard connection for electric vehicles and is a fast charging station owing to the connection to 3-phase power. Each charging point has up to 22 kW capacity.

Council has two Smart City pilot sites at North Ipswich Reserve and Rosewood Showgrounds with technology such as autonomous mowers, smart benches with phone charging capabilities and intelligent public lights, bins and solar power. 

Main picture: Urban Institute’s Simon Kaplan, Economic Development and Digital City Committee chairperson Councillor Paul Tully and Smarter Technology Solutions’ Cambell Priest at the North Ipswich Reserve Smart City pilot site.

Video and picture: A Tesla Model S 90D in the North Ipswich reserve carpark, where there is a Smight Air Streetlight with electric vehicle charging capability.

What is Smart City?

The City of Ipswich is delivering an ambitious plan to become Australia’s most liveable and prosperous Smart City. Our vision is to be a truly connected community, full of ideas, energy and innovation.

As one of Australia’s fastest growing cities, now is the time to define our future prosperity with new technology solutions.

The Smart City initiatives are designed for Ipswich — our needs, our priorities and our people. See more at Ipswich Smart City.

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