RAC WA launches second driverless bus experience in Western Australia

Monday, 03 June 2019

The RAC Intellibus® last month become the first driverless and electric vehicle to operate on public roads in a regional area of Western Australia (WA), after commencing an eight-week demonstration in the City of Busselton. An earlier trial continues to operate in the urban city of South Perth.

Under a partnership between ICMIF member RAC and the City of Busselton, the RAC Intellibus® arrived in South West Australia to provide the local community and visitors the opportunity to experience driverless technology.

RAC Executive General Manager Advocacy and Members, Patrick Walker (pictured with City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley) said he was delighted to see the first ever public demonstration of driverless vehicles in a regional area of WA become a reality.

“We’re very excited to bring the RAC Intellibus® to Busselton and to provide more Western Australians the chance to learn about driverless vehicles in the best way possible – by taking a ride in one,” Mr Walker said.

“This is one of the first times anywhere in the world that a regional community will get to experience driverless technology up close, which makes it a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what it could mean for WA and indeed Australia – especially in terms of road safety and accessible travel.”

The experience will be open to the public from Wednesday 8 May to 30 June 2019 with rides being available five days a week and each ride takes 30 minutes.

A second RAC Intellibus® is already in operation and will continue to offer public rides along the streets of South Perth, where it has been operating since 2016. As of May 2019, more than 18,241 people had registered to ride and 12,090 had experienced the Intellibus, with many more stopping to observe and take a photo. The RAC Intellibus® has travelled more than 19,737 km in autonomous mode and completed more than 5,639 thirty-minute rides.

RAC says it believes that Automated vehicle (AV) technology is the single biggest disruption to the mobility sector since the invention of motor cars. The RAC Intellibus® and Intellicar trials are not a pursuit of technology for technology’s sake, but a commitment to ensure AV technology can be applied to solve urban and regional mobility challenges in Australia. 

By working together with the organisation’s partners to deliver the trials as part of our Automated Vehicle Program, RAC says it is moving closer to readying Australia for the safe transition to automated vehicles and a future world of safer, easier and cleaner mobility.

The RAC Intellibus® initiative is supported by the WA Government through the provision of a Special Permit to operate on public roads as well as the Australian Government through its national Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Picture shows: Left, City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley and right, Patrick Walker, RAC Executive General Manager Advocacy and Members, RAC WA