University of Western Australia testing autonomous bus on campus

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Starting August 12, an autonomous bus will begin operating on the campus of the University of Western Australia (UWA).
 
The bus, which has been supplied by EasyMile, will be trialed over the course of a nine-day period, including Open Day.

“The trial will be used for teaching and research but it will also provide input into ways we can plan for a sustainable campus of the future,” says UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater.

“The University is spread over a wide area and it is interesting to investigate if vehicles like this could be used in the future as a sustainable transport link between places.”

Capable of carrying up to 14 passengers, the vehicle uses Telstra’s mobile network to navigate. The vehicle will travel at a speed limit of five kilometers per hour, and will have a trained observer onboard to oversee the technology, and answer questions about the vehicle and UWA research being conducted during the trial.

Team members from the Renewable Energy Vehicle project (REV) at UWA’s Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences will evaluate the accuracy and reliability of autonomous driving, as well as the effects that these vehicles have on other traffic, such as cyclists and pedestrians.

They will also compare the EasyMile bus with driverless systems that they have built.

UWA Business School staff and students from UWA’s Planning and Transport Research Centre will also participate in the trial, as they use surveys and experiments to explore the impact of the technology on potential users.