Driverless cabs to launch in Perth next year

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Words: Nile Bijoux
14 Sep 2018

Autonomous taxis will be rolling out in Perth from 2019, with level 4 autonomy.

The Royal Automotive Club of Western Australia, together with the WA state government, has announced the first ‘Intellicar’ taxis have landed. Each car is reportedly worth $AU490,000 and is built by French manufacturer Navya.

Perth’s self-driving taxis follow the rollout of the RAC Intellibus in Perth over the past three years. Two other cities are included in the rollout - Paris and an undisclosed location in the US.

Testing on closed roads will begin this week before the public will be introduced to the technology next year.

Each taxi sits six people, and has level 4 autonomy, meaning self-driving but retaining capability for human input. The cars use three LiDAR ( Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, six cameras and four radars. Power comes from a 25kW electric motor, offering a top speed of 90km/h. They will initially be deployed with an RAC stakeholder in the driver’s seat.

RAC Group CEO, Terry Agnew, said the arrival of the prototype vehicle was a significant transportation milestone.

"Human error is the cause of the vast majority of road deaths and serious injuries, so if we can help Western Australia and Australia safely transition to driverless vehicles sooner, hundreds of lives could be saved.”

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