Navya's driverless vehicles to be tested in Western Australia



According to the West Australian, the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC), in partnership with Navya, will test driverless passenger vehicles as a part of a trial expected to begin next year.

Several of Navya’s driverless passenger Autonom vehicles will be tested during the trial. The vehicles are designed to operate as an on-demand shared mobility service that can be booked through a smartphone app.

The trial will take place in Perth, Western Australia, which is one of three cities in the world selected for the trial of these vehicles.

For Australia, this will not be its first experience with autonomous vehicles, as back in August 2016, RAC, with the support of the Western Australia State Government, launched the RAC Intellibus—a driverless, electric shuttle—in South Perth.

The RAC Intellibus is designed to “complement the existing public transport network by transporting passengers across the first and last mile.”

“A longstanding objective of launching Australia’s first driverless vehicle trial in South Perth is to encourage and develop further trials, build research and also encourage wider collaboration,” said RAC Group chief executive Terry Agnew around the time of the launch of the RAC Intellibus.

“Ultimately our aim is to increase the understanding of how driverless vehicles can be integrated in to our transport system, and how they could best benefit the community.”

​Agnew says that the cars for the 2018 trial will be capable of carrying six passengers. While they will have a maximum speed of 90 kilometers per hour (nearly 56 miles per hour), they will typically travel between 20-50 kilometers per hour (12-31 miles per hour) for the trial. 

“We must prepare for the potential impact and opportunities of driverless vehicles, as well as the changes that are required for them to safely transition on to our roads,” Agnew says.