THE opinions surrounding driverless technology may be changing, despite it still being in the early stages of development.
New research by RAC shows one in two West Australian’s are likely to travel in a privately owned automated vehicle.
International Driverless Vehicle Summit keynote speaker Anne Still said the RAC’s Intellibus trial, launched in August 2016, had been one of the most progressive in the world.
“We have welcomed a broad cross-section of passengers, from seven year olds to many nonagenarians and they have confirmed that 97 per cent believe that driverless buses, like the RAC Intellibus, could be used as an effective transport service in the future,” she said.
“These are the perfect sized vehicles for the ‘first or last mile’ where passengers need to be ferried from an airport or train terminal to their hotel, or from their home to a nearby public transport node.
“To truly take advantage of the potential benefits these vehicles offer, it is important to test and evaluate automated vehicle technology while it is still in development.”
Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has announced RAC will receive $980,000 to continue the driverless trials for another two years, as part of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
“The City of South Perth is proud to partner with the RAC to support this landmark initiative and continue to be a part of trialling this game changing technology,” City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said.
Currently, RAC’s Intellibus has seen more than 6000 passengers travel the 3.5km route along South Perth Esplanade.