Geraldton to welcome driverless bus

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
The RAC driverless ‘Intellibus’ is coming to Geraldton.
Camera IconThe RAC driverless ‘Intellibus’ is coming to Geraldton. Credit: Danella Bevis The West Australian

A driverless bus will shuttle passengers through central Geraldton for several months starting in April.

Dubbed the RAC Intellibus, the futuristic vehicle will allow residents and tourists in WA’s Mid West to experience driverless technology for the first time.

Starting at the Geraldton Visitor Centre, the bus will travel a 2.6km route along the foreshore, Marine Terrace Mall, Town Square, Rocks Centre, and the Museum of Geraldton.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn described the visit as a “huge opportunity for the region” and a “fantastic outcome for Geraldton.

“This experience is a huge coup for Geraldton and we know both our community and visitors alike will love the addition to our CBD,” Mr Van Styn said.

“Not only are we embracing state of the art technology, but this will be fantastic for tourism and marketing of the Mid West.

“I can already envisage the Intellibus will be utilised significantly - especially during peak times such as cruise ship visits.”

RAC executive general manager advocacy and members, Patrick Walker, said regional areas “present unique road safety and mobility challenges”.

“That’s why engaging these communities is a priority, to help us all better understand and prepare for the changing nature of transport,” Mr Walker said.

“Human error is the cause of the vast majority of road deaths and serious injuries, so helping to safely transition to driverless technology sooner could help save hundreds of Australian lives and prevent thousands of serious injuries.”

An RAC spokeswoman said passengers would learn about road safety and observe how the Intellibus interacts with other road users including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Since being launched in South Perth in 2016, the RAC Intellibus has transported more than 16,000 passengers across more than 24,770km in autonomous mode.

An eight-week visit to Busselton last year marked the first time the Intellibus had been to regional WA.

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