Driverless bus hits Tasmanian roads

In partnership with the RACT and the City of Hobart, the Tasmanian Government is delivering the state’s first Driverless Electric Bus demonstration.

The demonstration will be performed with the NAVYA Autonom Shuttle. It will take place between the 6-13 December 2019.

The vehicle has cameras to detect lane markings, signs and traffic lights. It uses LIDAR technology with a laser light to measure distances to certain points, creating a 3D rendering of vehicles, pedestrians, curbs and buildings. GPS will also be used for accurate positioning and navigation, with a computer used to process the information and drive the vehicle.

A trained operator will be on the bus at all times during the demonstration to activate doors and start the vehicle on the pre-planned route.

Lower Sandy Bay will be used for the demonstration as there are lots of trees and buildings in the area for the vehicle to identify and navigate from, it is also a lower traffic area.

The demonstration will inform longer-term public trails which could be introduced in the future. It will help to understands how autonomous vehicle technology interacts with passengers, other precinct users and the broader transport network.

The state government’s work to support electric vehicle uptake was recently recognised with the Tasmanian Climate Change Office (TCCO), receiving the inaugural Kennedy Award at the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

The award recognised the TCCO’s work in delivering electric vehicle charging infrastructure, tailored programs to support fleets and community awareness, with grants of more than $600,000 to develop Australia’s first state-wide fast charging network stimulating a total spend of over $2.5 million.

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