The Autonobus – Victoria’s first driverless shuttle bus – will transport students around La Trobe University in Bundoora in a trial running until July 2018.
The bus will operate along Science Drive at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus, moving travellers from public transport interchanges and carparks and allowing them to hop off close to their destination.
The Autonobus is equipped with advanced sensor systems that can detect objects with incredibly fast response times and has gone through rigorous testing before taking passengers.
While Autonobus is designed as an automated, driverless shuttle, it will be supervised by an operator at all times who can take over if required. This human operator will also monitor the trial of the vehicle and its operations.
The Victorian Government invested $375,000 to support the trial through the Smarter Journeys Program, with VicRoads experts providing expertise in road safety and transport systems.
“The learnings from this project will assist VicRoads in understanding how automated vehicles will interact with other road users, and will inform our regulatory and operational frameworks to support their safe operation,” said VicRoads Director of Transport Futures Stuart Ballingall in a statement.
“Involvement in real-world trials enables us to learn by doing, and to adapt and change Victoria’s transport policies and operations to best support future mobility solutions,” he said.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the trial will build on the Victorian Government’s other investments in the autonomous vehicle research space.
“Automated vehicles will revolutionise the way we travel, that’s why we’re investing in trials that explore ways technology can be used to reduce congestion and keep people safe on our roads,” he said.
The trial will also bring together La Trobe University, Keolis Downer, HMI Technologies, ARRB and the RACV.