Thursday, 30 November 2017 06:02

On-demand automated vehicles to be tested in Perth

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Driverless and fully electric vehicles are slated to arrive in Western Australia under the Royal Automobile Club's plan to test automated vehicles in the state.

A statement from RAC said this would make Perth the first city in the country — and among the first globally — to test and run this kind of service.

The vehicles for the test are expected to arrive in WA by April next year. They can carry up to six passengers and have a maximum operating speed of 90kmph but are likely to operate at between 20kmph and 50kmph during the trial.

The AUTONOM vehicles are being put through tests by the RAC in partnership with NAVYA and the WA Government. The service has been set up as an on-demand shared mobility service which can be booked through a smartphone app.

The first public trial of driverless vehicles was undertaken in Singapore, beginning in August last year.

In March, RAC said it was running a trial with a vehicle known as the RAC Intellibus; trips were being made along the South Perth Esplanade between the Old Mill and Sir James Michael Park, a distance of about three kilometres.

aautonomous vehicle big

The driverless shuttle bus which will be tested in Perth.

RAC Group chief executive Terry Agnew said: "We must prepare for the potential impact and opportunities of driverless vehicles, as well as the changes that are required for them to safely transition on to our roads.

“For 112 years, RAC has been helping to create a better WA for its members and the community. By giving Western Australians the chance to see the technology, use it and experience it, we are learning more and working towards being ready for driverless vehicles.”

Two driverless shuttle buses are being tested in South Perth right now, both manufactured by NAVYA.

Photo: courtesy RAC

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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