Initially, the trials will be conducted at the RAC’s driving centre but eventually the shuttle will take to Perth roads, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said.
Similar vehicles are being trialled in other countries and have autonomous features such as radar cruise control and lane detection warning systems.
“Another of the safety features of the shuttle bus is its multi-sensor technology, providing 3D perception that allows it to map the environment, detect obstacles on the road and interpret traffic signs,” Mr Nalder said.
The shuttle bus has been developed by NAVYA SAS, a French company specialising in intelligent transport systems.
The bus can transport up to 15 passengers and has a maximum speed of 45km/h with an average speed of 25km/h.
Labor’s Alannah MacTiernan, the federal member for Perth, welcomed the trial and urged the Liberal state government to consider using the autonomous shuttles to deal with chronic parking problems at Perth train stations.
“Autonomous vehicles could potentially double the capacity of existing roads, which will need to be taken into account in deciding on funding for road and public transport infrastructure,” she said.
“They will have a major impact on fuel excise by dramatically increasing fuel efficiency, requiring the federal government to look at road user charging to fill the shortfall.”