A driverless shuttle bus is now trundling around La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus in a Victorian-first trial that will help shape public transport’s future.
The ‘Autonobus’ is running along Science Drive in test mode, and from March will pick up passengers from car parks and bus/tram interchanges and drop them at their university destination.
The RACV-supported trial runs until July, looking at safety, operations, passenger experience and integration with other forms of transport. RACV’s general manager of public policy and corporate affairs, Bryce Prosser, says the project will explore world-leading driverless technology.
“The purpose of the trial is to gain a better understanding of the technology – how it works, how it can best be developed and how it can be implemented,” Mr Prosser says.
Made by Navya, the Autonobus has advanced sensor systems that can detect potential collisions with very fast response times. It operates without a driver, but for the trial period will be supervised by an operator, allowing the trial team to monitor the vehicle and how it interacts with its environment, and to measure passenger acceptance and behaviour.