A 100% autonomous, driverless and fully electric vehicle is to be trialled in Western Australia.
The French company NAVYA is providing Australia’s RAC with its ARMA shuttle for testing.
They say their ARMA vehicle is driverless, safe, reliable and comfortable, and can carry up to 15 people, having been designed to “satisfy the specific needs of a driverless vehicle whilst optimising on navigation and safety functions”.
The shuttle bus is fitted with multi-sensor technology providing 3D perception that allows it to map the environment, detect obstacles on the road and interpret traffic signs. Its speed is limited but it can travel at up to 45 km/h according to requirements. The vehicle aims to complement the existing transport system over distances which are too short to travel by car but too far to walk, the so called “last mile”.
Christophe Sapet, CEO of NAVYA said “This staged trial in Western Australia with RAC Australia is of course an important step in ARMA’s development. We are delighted to be working with RAC to develop new solutions that incorporate a range of transport options in order to adapt to new technologies, preparing the way for automated vehicles to safely run on the open road.”
Meanwhile the RAC Group CEO Terry Agnew added, “This staged trial, which is the first of its kind in Australia, will help members of the community, Government and industry consider the potential impact and opportunities of automated vehicle technology. Increasing levels of automation in vehicles are an inevitable part of the future, and the notion of them being on our roads is not a question of if, but when.”
NAVYA say their shuttle bus is the result of 10 years’ research and expertise which allows it to achieve the highest level of autonomy possible – SAE International Level Five – making it an entirely autonomous, or driverless, series vehicle.