Driverless bus trial to begin

Driverless bus trial to begin

Curtin University’s new driverless bus will be guided entirely by censors and GPS.

Curtin University will be the first tertiary institution in Australia to trial a commercial driverless bus when the service launches at the end of this month.

The autonomous bus will be free to ride, seat 11 people, will be entirely electric and will travel up to 45km/h.

Its route will be pre-determined using computer programming and remote sensors, stereo cameras and a global positioning system.

It will run down Brand Road near the Curtin University Bus Station and be able to navigate around temporary obstacles or obstructions on the road.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the project would be good for research at the university and within the autonomous car industry.

“A wide range of Curtin research groups are looking to the future implementation of robotic and autonomous vehicles,” she said.

“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.”

A chaperone will be on the bus to monitor its performance and will be able to manually operate its controls if required.

Curtin University was running a competition to name the bus before its first drive and offered a $500 Coles Myer gift card for the top suggestion.

At deadline the most liked names on a Curtin University Facebook post were “Bussy McBussface”, “Curtis” and “Drivey McDriveface”.