Western Australia has become the first Australian state to dabble in autonomous public transport with the trial of the ‘RAC Intellibus.’

French specialists in intelligent transport systems, NAVYA conducted the trial along Perth’s South Esplanade in conjunction with the RAC to evaluate how driverless vehicles could be integrated into the daily commute.

CEO of the RAC, Terry Agnew said he expects this to be the first of many steps into exploring driverless technology.

“Further trials, research and collaboration will increase WA’s understanding of how driverless vehicles can integrate into our transport system,” Agnew said.

Agnew is hopeful that these trials will lead to the RAC Intellibus and other autonomous vehicles being integrated into Australia’s transport system.

The 15-seater minibus has a top speed of 45km/h and uses multi-sensor technology to map the environment, detect obstacles and read road signs.

RAC executive general manager Pat Walker said Perth should welcome the new technology.

“By giving Western Australians the chance to see the technology, to eventually use it and experience it, we are learning more about the technology and working towards WA being ready for driverless vehicles,” Walker said.

“Increasing levels of automation in vehicles are an inevitable part of the future, and the notion of them being on our roads is not a question of if, but when,” he added.