Curtin is the first Australian university to trial a commercial driverless bus, and will use the vehicle as an opportunity to carry out further research in navigation satellite systems, road safety and mobility issues for people with a disability.
Named Kip, after John Curtin’s pet dog, the autonomous and entirely electric bus, built by French company Navya, seats 11 passengers and can travel up to 45km per hour on a pre-determined route, using computer programming and remote sensors, stereo cameras and GPS navigation.
Kip is programmed to follow a route with exact rules as to when to start, stop and negotiate temporary obstacles.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry says the trial provides the University with significant research opportunities and benefits while collaborating with industry partners to enable further technology development.
“Curtin research groups are looking to the future implementation of robotic and autonomous vehicles in areas such as health, traffic, communications, infrastructure and navigation technologies,” Professor Terry explains.
“Potential impacts of driverless technology include safer and more sustainable transport, more mobility options for people who are unable to drive, and a reduction in traffic congestion and noise pollution.”
Partners in the project include Innovation Central, Cisco and Woodside Energy.