Stockland has partnered with The University of Western Australia (UWA) to deliver Perth’s first locally developed driverless bus to the Amberton Beach community in the northern suburb of Eglinton.
As part of a three-year public road trial, the driverless bus will journey along a designated route between Marmion Avenue and Amberton Beach and will accommodate up to six passengers. Members of the public will be able to book a trip on the bus from mid 2023 after UWA complete their initial testing period.
The UWA autonomous shuttle bus project, creatively named nUWAy, began in 2020 and has placed UWA as a leader in self-driving vehicle research.
Stockland General Manager - WA Communities, Col Dutton, said that the bus will be a fantastic addition to the community, as well as showcase UWA’s innovative work in autonomous driving research.
“We are excited to partner with UWA in introducing our Amberton Beach community to the future of transport in Australia,” said Mr Dutton.
“This is both a fantastic opportunity for the public to learn about and experience driverless technology, while supporting Western Australian innovation.”
Professor Thomas Bräunl, from UWA’s School of Engineering, said that the first two driverless busses developed as part of the nUWAy project have been roaming UWA’s campus for two years, but with Stockland’s support, this will be the first to hit the open road.
“For the first couple of months during the trial, engineering students will ‘train’ the path and fine-tune operations before the shuttle will run as a regular service and take passengers,” said Professor Bräunl.
“It’s a very exciting time for all involved with autonomous driving as the biggest engineering challenge of our time."
City of Wanneroo Mayor Linda Aitken welcomed the addition to the community, noting the importance of public awareness surrounding the future of transport in the state.
“As technology and innovation advances, it’s important that our community can experience the benefits, especially when the technology exists on our roads,” said Mayor Aitken.
“It’s admirable to see Stockland supporting this innovative venture in a way that educates our community and keeps them safe.”
Located 48km north of Perth CBD, Amberton Beach is a coastal community that offers a place for families to thrive, and enjoy direct beach access, beachside bar and dining and playgrounds with a seaside community and foreshore precinct.