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The Autonobus Trial

The Autonobus Trial

The trial has now been completed successfully.

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Welcome to the La Trobe AutonobusTrial – Victoria’s first autonomous shuttle, operating at La Trobe University Bundoora. This trial brings together government, the private sector, academia and Victoria’s largest member organisation to explore the use of driverless buses as part of first and last mile transportation service.

Autonobus is an exciting opportunity to look into the future of transport by bringing world-leading technology to Victoria. The trial will help shape our state’s transport future through demand-based mobility solutions which complement existing transport options.

What is the Autonobus?

The Autonobus is an autonomous shuttle bus – ‘autonomous’, commonly referred to as ‘driverless’, means it has no human driver.

The Autonobus is the first of its kind in Victoria, and is being trialled to gain an understanding of the technology involved including how autonomous shuttles integrate with our road system and how humans interact with automated technologies. The Autonobus Team is keen to understand how different demographics interact with autonomous technologies and how this ‘last-mile ’ complementary transport service can improve the mobility of those who are less mobile such as the elderly and physically disabled.

The trial will run from October 2017 through to July 2018.  It will look at all aspects of safety, operations, passenger experience and integration with other transport modes to deliver a comprehensive analysis to the Victorian Government that will enable the development of more trials.

How does the Autonobus work?

The Autonobus operates on a set route based on specific map coordinates. Think of it somewhat like a tram running on set tracks. In fact, the Autonobus is so precise that it will run on the same part of the road every journey.

Running with 360-degree cameras and multiple input sensors, the Autonobus is incredibly safe and will stop to avoid colliding with any obstacles in its path. Roundabouts and complex traffic intersections can also be managed thanks to the advanced technology which enables the Autonobus to integrate with conventional roads.

The Autonobus can work on either a demand system or on a timed system. On a demand system, customers can ‘call’ the shuttle a bit like calling an elevator. The shuttle then travels along the route and stops at the programmed stop. On a timed system, the Autonobus will run on a set timetable, picking up passengers at each designated stop.

Where will The Autonobus run and what does the trial entail?

As part of the trial program, Autonobus will operate along Science Drive at La Trobe University’s Bundoora Campus, supervised by an operator at all times.

The trial entails transporting different demographics of people around the campus – focusing on picking up prospective customers from tram/bus interchanges or carparks, and allowing them to hop off close to their destination.

Targeted demographics include students, university personnel, Sunday market attendees and commuters changing transport modes (eg. tram to bus).

Passenger trials commenced in April 2018, and are now closed.

Received your Autonobus Coupon number? Book your ride here.

Who is operating this service?

Autonobus is a collaboration between VicRoads, Keolis Downer, La Trobe University, HMI, RACV and ARRB. Each partner diverse expertise in transport services and operations, customer services, research, and technology development.

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