The La Trobe Autonobus Trial Group is keen to
understand how different demographics interact with autonomous technologies and
how this ‘last-mile’ complementary transport option can improve the mobility of
those who are less mobile such as the elderly and physically disabled.
Featured image via La Trobe University’s official Twitter Page.
Victoria’s first driverless shuttle bus will transport
students around La Trobe University in Bundoora following support from the
Andrews Labor Government.
The Autonobus has brought together world-leading experts in
automated vehicle technology in a trial which will help shape Victoria’s
The trial will run until July 2018, examining all aspects of
safety, operations, passenger experience and integration.
The bus will operate along Science Drive at La Trobe
University’s Bundoora campus, shuttling travellers from public transport
interchanges and carparks and allowing them to hop off close to their
The Labor Government has invested AU$375,000 to support the
trial through the Smarter Journeys Program, with VicRoads experts
providing expertise in road safety and transport systems.
The trial will also bring together La Trobe University,
Keolis Downer, HMI Technologies, ARRB and the RACV.
The Autonobus is equipped with advanced sensor systems that
can detect objects with incredibly fast response times and has gone through
rigorous testing before taking passengers.
Autonobus can work on either a demand system or on a timed
system. On a demand system, customers can ‘call’ the shuttle a bit like calling
an elevator. The shuttle then travels along the route and stops at the
programmed stop. On a timed system, Autonobus will run on a set timetable,
picking up passengers at each designated stop.
While Autonobus is designed as an automated, driverless
shuttle, it will be supervised by an operator at all times who can take over if
required. This human operator will also monitor the trial of the vehicle and
During the trial testing phase, customers can register to
ride the Autonobus here.
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