Driverless transport. Everyone's doing it (well, trying to) — but while Washington D.C. got their own self-driving mini bus earlier this year and Uber has started trialling driverless cabs, Australia is yet to ditch humans in favour of computers in the driver's seat. Until now. Yesterday Australia's first fully driverless bus was released onto the roads of Perth.
The RAC Intellibus™ has been a joint venture between French electric company NAVYA and Western Australia's motoring body RAC WA. The 11-seat shuttle bus — which is adorable, by the way — is a level four vehicle, which basically means it's fully autonomous. The bus is fitted with ultraviolet light detectors, front and back cameras, a GPS, motion sensors and autonomous emergency braking to drive around town without causing absolute mayhem. This allows it weave its way through traffic, dodge parked cars and interact with pedestrians and cyclists.
At the moment it's in the on-road trial stage, which will see the bus travel a pre-programmed route up and down South Perth Esplanade. However, if you're planning on getting anywhere fast, it might be better to get on yer bike — the bus will only travel at an average speed of 25 kilometres per hour.
"This trial is an Australian-first, and will be a real trial incorporating members of the public travelling on public roads," RAC Group Chief Executive Officer Terry Agnew said in a statement of the RAC website yesterday. "We anticipate this first step in exploring driverless technology will start a conversation on further trials, research and collaboration, which will increase WA's understanding of how driverless vehicles can integrate into our transport system."
Can we have one? Pleeeaaase?
Published on September 01, 2016 by Lauren Vadnjal