Photo Credit: RAC
Emerging from the dark ages and stepping into the future, the sleepy city of Perth has been fortunate enough to be chosen to be one of the first cities in Australia and the world to trial out a fully automated vehicle.
The RAC Self-Drive Intellibus project
Produced by a French company by the name of NAVYA, the completely autonomous vehicles will be trialled in the City of South Perth travelling a 3.5km journey along the South Perth Esplanade.
The trials will be conducted by RAC in partnership with the WA Government, coined ‘RAC Self Drive Intellibus’ and will be the first of its kind to hit the tarmac ever. As congestion increases on WA roads so does our frustrations as we are constantly searching for a quicker route. We find ourselves leaving earlier, taking public transport and using location technology to plan our commutes – there is no doubt that we are in need of a solution.
The Intellibus can seat a maximum of 6 passengers and are able to reach top speed of 90 kilometres an hour and will be mainly used for shorter inner-city journeys or connecting people with public transport.
According to a media statement from the Department of Transport, Minister Rita Saffioti says the vehicles are expected to arrive in Perth on April 2018 and to be trialled in closed controlled areas with limited on-road public trials accompanied with a chaperone.
“It is important that our State is provided with a safe, cost efficient and accessible mode of commuter transport.”
“I am very proud that Western Australia is leading the way with Perth being one of the only three cities worldwide trailing these vehicles.”
Although the vehicles are expected by April 2018, the service will be potentially fully operational by 2021. RAC WA’s CEO Terry Agnew said,
“It gives them the opportunity to try rather than read about it or be told about it,” he said.
“Quite often you can see new technology is introduced and the community isn’t ready for it.
“We want to ensure that Western Australians are ready for that.”
Research conducted by the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia showed that 97 per cent participants agreed that a vehicle like the Intellibus could be used as a service in the future.
How to get involved
If you would like to find out more information on the Intellibus or how to get involved in the trials please visit this page and book a ride!