La Trobe University driverless bus trial set for early 2018
HMI Technologies yesterday launched the third trial of its driverless shuttle bus, at the Bundoora campus of Melbourne’s La Trobe University. HMI’s previous two trial spots were Auckland and Sydney, so this will be Victoria’s first real look at the vehicle.
The La Trobe Autonobus was launched yesterday, and will undergo testing, and mapping its route, from today. Then, in April through to July 2018, the general public will be able to trial the bus. The route will take passengers from the tram stop near Science Drive, to the main campus.
This Autonobus is a collaboration between VicRoads, Keolis Downer, La Trobe, University, HMI, RACV and the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), and is part-funded by the Victorian Government Smarter Journeys Program.
“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,” said Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan.
“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,” said Dean Zabrieszach, HMI Technologies’ CEO.
“This will give us a good idea of how the bus integrates with other modes of transport and interacts with people.”
Stuart Ballingall, VicRoads’ Director of Transport Futures, outlined the importance of the Melbourne and Sydney trials of Autonobus for the country.
“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.”
Watch the bus in action in this short video from the Sydney launch: