Perth to trial electric autonomous vehicles

Perth is one of three cities in the world to be chosen to host a trial of a new type of electric-powered autonomous vehicles.

Run by RAC WA in partnership with the WA State Government, the trial will involve several driverless passenger ‘AUTONOM’ vehicles produced by French company NAVYA which have been designed as an on-demand shared mobility service, bookable through a smartphone app.

The vehicles can carry up to six passengers each, and have a maximum operating speed of 90km/hr with a likely recommended operating speed of 20 to 50km/h during the trial. The vehicles are fitted with the latest state-of-the-art multi-sensor technology, including 10 LIDARS, four radars, six cameras and Odometry, all providing the vehicles with 3D perception that allows them to map the environment, detect obstacles and make decisions which allow them to operate autonomously. The cars also feature two Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antennae to determine the precise position of the vehicle at any given time, and are linked to a supervision service.

The vehicles are expected to arrive in Perth in April 2018 and will be trialled in a closed and controlled environment.

The WA Government and the RAC will work together to explore potential locations for the initial trial, and potentially for a limited on-road public trial with a trained chaperone as part of future stages.

Other automated vehicle trials currently under way in Perth include the RAC's staged trial of a driverless, fully electric shuttle bus (also developed by NAVYA) on Perth roads and Curtin University's trial automated bus on campus.

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