Monday, 27 March 2017 23:27

Autonomous bus navigates through Perth roads in Curtin Uni research


Curtin University is undertaking a trial of a commercial driverless bus, and will use the vehicle to carry out further research in navigation satellite systems, road safety and mobility issues for people with a disability.

The university, which says it is the first in Australia to undertake the trial, will use an autonomous and 1005 electric bus, built by French-based company Navya, which seats 11 passengers and can travel up to 45km per hour on a pre-determined route in Perth.

The bus uses programming and remote sensors, stereo cameras and GPS systems and is programmed to follow a route with exact rules as to when it can start, stop and negotiate temporary obstacles.

The autonomous bus will be in operation at Curtin’s Bentley campus from late March and will further strengthen the University’s commitment to embracing and developing new technologies and innovation.

Once the trial is underway, researchers will examine the attitudes of the Curtin and wider community towards autonomous technologies, and people will have the opportunity to participate in the research through surveys, feedback and user-experience.

Curtin University vice-chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the trial would provide Curtin with a significant range of research opportunities and benefits while collaborating with major industry partners to enable further technology development.

“A wide range of Curtin research groups are looking to the future implementation of robotic and autonomous vehicles in areas such as health, traffic, communications, infrastructure and navigation technologies, including the public confidence in these quickly emerging technologies.

“Autonomous vehicles will transform not only the way we commute, but how we engage with our community and environment. Potential impacts of driverless technology include safer and more sustainable transport, more mobility options for people who are unable to drive and a reduction in traffic congestion and noise pollution.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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