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."
Automakers can now start testing fully driverless cars on California's roads. According to the state DMV's new regulations that became effective on April 2nd, it can now issue three types of autonomous vehicle testing permits. The first kind is the original one it approved years ago, which needs a driver behind the wheel, while the other two could pave the way for the release of Level 4 to 5 autonomous vehicles. See, the second type of permit it can dole out will allow automakers to test fully driverless vehicles, and the third will give the companies permission to deploy them. While it may seem like California introduced its new permits at a bad time -- Uber and Tesla were recently involved in fatal accidents while their self-driving technologies were engaged -- the state approved the new regulations way back in February.
University of Cincinnati students and visitors would be among the first to experience the driverless shuttle program, but officials say it is still too early to provide details. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the effort is the brainchild of Smart Cincy, a public-private partnership pushing for a "connected vehicle infrastructure."