Perth has been chosen as one of three cities in the world to test a driverless, ride-sharing service similar to Uber as part of a global trial of autonomous, electric-powered cars.
The fully electric-powered Autonoms cars can carry up to six passengers and reach a top speed of 90km/h, although they will be restricted to between 20 and 50km/h during the trial.
Fitted with six cameras and four radars, the cars make a 3D map of their environment to detect obstacles and make decisions on which path to take.
For passenger safety, a trained chaperone will be used during the RAC and state government trial of the on-demand service.
RAC chief executive Terry Agnew said people already had autonomous technology in their cars, such as cruise control and lane detection, and the industry indicated that fully driverless vehicles were just years away.
“We must prepare for the potential impact and opportunities of driverless vehicles, as well as the changes that are required for them to safely transition on to our roads,” he said.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Perth was one of only three cities worldwide chosen for the trial, along with Paris and a yet-to-be-decided US city.
It follows Australia’s first driverless vehicle test using fully electric-powered shuttle buses, which were also supplied by French company Navya, and launched by the RAC in South Perth in August 2016.
The cars will be delivered in April, with the state government investigating potential sites for a limited, on-road public trial.