Vic driverless shuttle trial


An autonomous shuttle bus is being trialled in Melbourne’s north at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus

Vic driverless shuttle trial
The La Trobe Autonobus trial will run on an existing transport route at La Trobe University until July next year.

 

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan says the project will put the state at the forefront of automated vehicle technology.

"Automated vehicles will revolutionise how we move around our communities, 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 says.

Keolis Downer Head of Growth, Innovation and Partnerships Jonathan Myers says the project will explore how driverless vehicles complement existing public transport solutions.

"We welcome the opportunity given by the Victorian Government to test driverless technology in mixed traffic to understand what evolutions might be needed to provide a safe and integrated travel experience to local communities," he says.

The La Trobe Autonobus trial will run on an existing transport route at La Trobe University until July next year.

RACV’s General Manager of Public Policy and Corporate Affairs Bryce Prosser says the project will explore world-leading driverless technology.

"This is an exciting opportunity to look into the future of transport and how autonomous vehicles can be used to meet passenger demand and complement existing transport options," he says.

"The purpose of the trial is to gain a better understanding of the technology – how it works, how it can best be developed and how it can be implemented. We will look at all aspects of safety, operations and integration."

CEO of HMI technology Dean Zabrieszach says members of the public will have the opportunity to test the bus first-hand from April next year.

"We will be transporting a range of people around the campus during the trial – focusing on picking up customers from tram/bus interchanges or car parks and allowing them to hop off close to their destination," he says.

"This will give us a good idea of how the bus integrates with other modes of transport and interacts with people."

La Trobe University Vice Chancellor Professor John Dewar says the university is leading the way.

"Our researchers have the expertise and track record in developing technology that links business, enhances mobility and shapes smart cities of the future," he says.

"The trial also fits with our own smarter campus ethos which is to make it easier for students to use technology and enhance their education experience."

VicRoads Director of Transport Futures Stuart Ballingall says the trial will set the groundwork for the introduction of driverless vehicles.

"We hope to learn how this technology can be used while interacting with other road users, which will help to inform the development of a legal and regulatory framework for the safe introduction of automated vehicles across Victoria and Australia."

Autonobus is a collaboration between VicRoads, founding partner Keolis Downer, La Trobe University, HMI, RACV and ARRB.

The initiative is the first project of its kind in Victoria and is partly funded by the Victorian Government Smarter Journeys Program.

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