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Australia’s First Driverless Car Arrives For Testing

Australia’s first on-demand, autonomous driverless car has been revealed to the media. 

The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia bought the car, known as ‘Intellicar’ from French manufacturer Navya, which designs autonomous electric vehicles, for 300,000 euros ($490,000). 

The RAC hopes to commence Intellicar trials on roads early next year if it can obtain approval from local councils and the state government. It plans to put RAC staff in the cars first before the general public is given the opportunity to travel in them.

Perth becomes the third city in the world where the Intellicar is being trialled, along with Paris and a still undisclosed North American city. 

The RAC successfully introduced the Intellibus in 2016 and over 10,000 travellers have used it since, in a tightly controlled route and environment around South Perth.

Intellicars have room for six passengers and a maximum operating speed of 90 km/h with a recommended operating speed of 20 to 50 km/h.

The car, which is devoid of steering wheel or pedals, comes complete with six cameras, four RADARs and two global navigation systems that help it spot and avoid obstacles.

Its 3D perception is designed to map the environment, detect obstacles and make decisions so it can operate autonomously. 

There is no indication from other states about similar trials or when such vehicles could become commercially viable in the future, though the National Transport Commission has begun a preliminary evaluation of how road laws could be changed to accomodate driverless cars on the road. 


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