Government of Western Australia Official Site


Perth to trial new driverless cars in 2018

Perth is one of three cities in the world to be chosen to host a trial of a new type of electric-powered autonomous vehicle. Run by RAC WA (Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia) in partnership with the State Government, the trial will involve several vehicles called Autonoms produced by French company NAVYA. The vehicles are expected to arrive in Perth in April 2018 and will be trialled in a closed and controlled environment. The State 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.

The Autonom cab can carry up to six passengers each, and has a maximum operating speed of 90km/hr, with a likely recommended operating speed of 20 to 50km/hr during the trial. The vehicles are fitted with the latest state-of-the-art multi-sensor technology, providing a 3D perception that enables them to map the environment, detect obstacles and make decisions which allow them to operate autonomously. They 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 remote supervision service.

Since August 2016, RAC WA has been one of the first organizations in the world to trial an autonomous shuttle in real conditions in South Perth. The Autonom Shuttle, called the RAC Intellibus, is the longest running trial of a self-driving vehicle in Australasia.

Having travelled more than 7,000kms in autonomous mode, the learnings are being documented and shared with industry and government. More than 10,500 people registered to take part in the trial, which allowed industry practitioners and the community to use and experience a driverless vehicle in a complex traffic environment. 

While the private sector is developing driverless cars, one of the roles of government is to ensure that it is undertaken safely. The future benefits of driverless vehicles include increased efficiency, safety and reduced costs in road transportation. There are also job creation opportunities attached to the autonomous vehicle industry.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly commented: “The autonomous vehicle revolution is coming and WA has the potential to be at the cutting edge of this new technology. High-tech new industries such as autonomous vehicles will be a source of the jobs of the future and I want to ensure this State is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities.”