A driverless and fully electric shuttle bus is set to arrive in the South West under a partnership between RAC and the City of Busselton.
The RAC Intellibus, which since launching on the streets of South Perth in 2016 has seen more than 11,000 people take a ride, will become the first driverless vehicle to operate on public roads in regional Western Australia.
RAC Executive General Manager Advocacy and Members, Patrick Walker said the project would commence in late March or April and would run for approximately eight weeks in the vicinity of the Busselton Foreshore.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with the City of Busselton to bring the first ever public demonstration of driverless vehicles to regional WA,” Mr Walker said.
“Metropolitan and regional areas differ in many ways — from the types of road crashes that occur, to the transport options available — which is why we’ve made it a priority to engage regional communities as part of our world leading automated vehicle trials.”
“Human error is the cause of the vast majority of road deaths and serious injuries, so if we can help safely transition to driverless vehicles sooner, hundreds of Australian lives could be saved and thousands of serious injuries prevented.”
“By giving Western Australians the chance to see and experience the technology, we gain a better understanding of what will be required to prepare WA for our driverless future.”
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley also welcomed the announcement.
“We’re proud to partner with RAC to offer locals and visitors to Busselton a chance to be some of the first in the world to experience and learn about this exciting new technology,” Mayor Henley said.
“Busselton attracts many people due to its scenic appeal and is an ideal location to host this first‐of‐its-kind demonstration.”
This project is supported by the WA Government as well as the Australian Government through its national Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
RAC media contact: Steph Gavlak, 0401 703 719 / email@example.com
City of Busselton media contact: Meredith Dixon, 9781 0446 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE RAC INTELLIBUS:
Since 2015, RAC has been working to test and evaluate a fully autonomous, electric shuttle bus and on 31 August 2016, with support from the WA Government, the City of South Perth, and vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, Australia’s first public trial of a driverless vehicle was launched.
As of February 2019, more than 16,889 people had registered to ride and 11,020 had experienced the Intellibus, with many more stopping to observe and take a photo. The RAC Intellibus® has travelled more than 17,042 km in autonomous mode and completed more than 4,869 thirty‐minute rides.
For the full RAC Intellibus backgrounder, visit www.rac.com.au/intellibus