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French-made driverless electric bus to hit Perth road

French bus
New technology   Autonomous vehicles in Australia

A French-made robot bus is set to be trialled in an Australian state as part of wider preparations into the use of autonomous vehicles on local roads.

A French-made driverless electric shuttle bus will carry 15 passengers at speeds up to 45 km per hour in the Western Australia state capital Perth using three-dimensional sensing technology that allows the bus to avoid obstacles and detect and read road signs.

Western Australia's Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the trial would help test the concept of automated vehicles on the state's roads, however having driverless public transport options are some way away.

"It is a trial, and at the end of the day trials have ups and downs. There will be things that don't work that we'll learn from, but it's all about learning so we're better prepared for the future," Nalder said.

Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of Western Australia chief executive Terry Agnew said the staged trial, which is being conducted by RAC, would help lawmakers understand the legislative and practical challenges posed by autonomous vehicles.

"Not only are we thinking about regulation and how it might work operationally, but importantly we can start understanding the human factor of how Western Australians will embrace and use this innovative technology," Agnew said.


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