Melbourne's La Trobe University has detailed findings of what it called successful on-campus trials of Navya's driverless "Autonobus" shuttle, which uses 360-degree cameras and sensor systems to detect objects and runs a set route based on map coordinates. A report on the trial by La Trobe and its project partners includes a number of recommendations, including further trials of the technology; considering autonomous vehicles in future infrastructure planning and investment decisions; and education and engagement of communities on autonomous vehicles. The Autonobus -- which drove students around La Trobe's Bundoora campus as part of a trial until July -- passed every test it went through, including safety, technical, operational, and passenger testing on a pre-programmed route, and interacting with pedestrians, cars, buses, and cyclists, according to Dean Zabrieszach, CEO of project partner HMI Technologies. "No other trial in Australia has tested an autonomous vehicle of this type in such a dense urban location," Zabrieszach said. "We have demonstrated that it can be done safely, without incident, and in compliance with road safety laws."
The RAC Intellibus has made around 1500 thirty-minute trips, carrying more than 4300 passengers around its route on open road in South Perth. The autonomous bus – which can reach speeds of 45km per hour, but averages at around 25km per hour – is fully electric and uses light detection and ranging (LIDAR), stereovision cameras, GPS, odometry and autonomous emergency braking to detect and avoid obstacles and maintain its course. It is considered to have'Level 4' automation (as defined by SAE International standards) which means the vehicle can perform all safety critical driving functions without any occupants. Nevertheless, the bus has a'chaperone' whom can take the wheel (actually a Playstation controller) if needed. That part of the trial included measuring the vehicle's reaction to stationary and moving objects, and simulated traffic conditions.
Telstra has announced completing a successful trial of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology over its 4G network, conducted in South Australia in partnership with Cohda Wireless. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology will allow vehicles to communicate with traffic lights, other vehicles, and pedestrians in future, according to Telstra, as well as the development of safe autonomous vehicles. "While there has been a lot of focus around future transport technology, there has not been much work done to date in Australia on supporting intelligent transport systems via existing 4G mobile networks," Telstra's director of Technology Andrew Scott said. "The trial we just completed in South Australia confirms that 4G can support V2I applications. These applications included alerting a driver to roadworks ahead, giving green light priority to high-priority vehicles, and testing optimal green light timing, where the vehicle is informed of the optimal speed to approach a traffic light so that that they get a green light when they arrive, therefore allowing a more continuous flow of traffic."
A driverless shuttle bus crashed less than two hours after it was launched in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The city's officials had been hosting an unveiling ceremony for the bus, described as the US' first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared towards the public, before it crashed with a semi-truck. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault, there were no injuries, and the incident caused minor damage. The oval-shaped shuttle -- sponsored by AAA, the Review-Journal added -- can transport up to 12 passengers at a time. It has an attendant and a computer monitor, and uses GPS and electric curb sensors instead of brakes or a steering wheel.