Aussie Robo-Bus Service Goes Live

An autonomous vehicle developer is claiming the world’s first commercial robo-bus service in Australia.

Via has announced its AV program, dubbed BusBot, is now fully operational and serving a community in New South Wales. BusBot, in partnership with local bus operator Busways, Transport for NSW and AV technology provider EasyMile, will serve the Marian Grove Retirement Village in Toormina, a suburb of Coffs Harbour. The deployment will serve an entire community of senior citizens offering benefits beyond just a driverless bus.

Users will be able to hail the bus directly from a smartphone app and the operator claims its advanced algorithms will enable several passengers to share the same driverless vehicle. The tech will direct customers to a nearby virtual bus stop for pick up and drop off, and send the robo-bus to stops in real-time, allowing shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.

“If autonomous vehicles are to reach their full potential for providing low-cost, efficient rides, they need to be shared by multiple passengers,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “Via’s sophisticated systems are able to power, in real-time, the movement of millions of connected autonomous shuttles and their passengers, and we’re delighted to be working with BusBot to launch this groundbreaking service.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_




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