RAC Intellibus – Australia’s First Autonomous EV Featured By Fully Charged – Video

2 months ago by Mark Kane 9

Fully Charged’s recent expedition to Australia came across the first all-electric AND fully autonomous vehicle in the country – the RAC Intellibus (which by the way is French, as NAVYA was bought by RAC).

Although the episode begins with Sundrop Farm’s tomatoes, don’t be confused, it’s still about EVs.

RAC Intellibus

The RAC Intellibus is a level four, or fully autonomous vehicle, that can transport up to 11 passengers.

Driving speed can hit up to 45 km/h (28 mph), but the average travelling speed works out to 20-25 km/h.

According to the review, the Intellibus is able drive and entire day on single battery charge, and when its 33 kWh battery becomes depleted, Intellibus parks over a wireless charging station to top back up.

Currently RAC Intellibus is undergoing trials in South Perth. We should note that other NAVYA ebuses are also used in Europe, and this year also made an appearance at 2017 CES in Las Vegas.

RAC Intellibus

Technical Specifications

Dimensions Length: 4.80m
Width: 2.05m
Height: 2.60m
Speed Max: 45km/h Average: 20-25km/h
Weight Empty: 1.8t Gross weight: 3t
Capacity Up to 11 seated
Steering 2 x 2 steering wheels
Turning radius <4.5m
Safety features Emergency stop button
SOS intercom
Emergency braking
Power shortage brake
Seatbelts
Battery Wireless Induction Charging LifeP04
Localisation & Obstacle detection GPS with Real Time Kinematic corrections
Stereovision camera
Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)
Odometry

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9 responses to "RAC Intellibus – Australia’s First Autonomous EV Featured By Fully Charged – Video"

  1. ijonjack says:

    Robert you are a braver man than I because you wouldn’t catch me in one those contraptions under no circumstances.. That’s Just Brilliant, Just brilliant mate !

  2. Someone out there says:

    How is this possible? I’ve heard from experts on this very forum that Tesla is way ahead of anyone else when it comes to autonomy!

    1. Big Solar says:

      Tesla has all the tech that the intellibus has

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Tesla does not use lidar.

      2. Nick says:

        Tesla is even more advanced, since they use radar and cameras instead of lidar.

        This is much like their decision to tame commodity 18650 cells vs using expensive custom prismatic cells.

        LIDAR is very expensive. Cameras and radar are very cheap but much harder to program.

    2. wavelet says:

      These small buses are intended for short, fixed routes (think university campus shuttles); this makes the navigation problem much simpler (losing the GPS signal wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal — you would likely have beacons on the fixed route for precise positioning/backup), and the bus needs to deal with a much smaller range of circumstance than an autonomous car that needs to handle any public road under any conditions.

      This type of bus also never needs to go quickly, also simplifying the problem. Pretty much the only thing it needs to do is stop in case of an obstruction. The campus security HQ would have a video feed in such cases, and be able to monitor the bus. This is really much more like the automated light-rail trains a airports that have no drivers than like a car.

      However, since you are saving the salary of a fulltime driver, the savings are significant, and these are likely to be the very first autonomous vehicles in real-life use.

  3. Jason says:

    Man,that bus had some creaks and groans, hope they sorry that out, it just didn’t sound safe.

    No mention what distance each circuit was, and running on a set course is that just a test track or actually between two useful places?

    I imagine my city is not that different from any other. We have high density work environments with not much car parking. I could see these buses running from and outskirt location for parking, to the place of work, tirelessly, repetitively, cheaply. How cool would that be?

  4. JIMJFOX says:

    “is able drive and entire day”
    More Manglish!

    Nice to see Perth again- lived there for 30 yrs.

    Utterly bizarre weather for February, the hottest month in W Australia, you normally stay in air-conditioned places.

    That route is along the South Perth foreshore, very quiet and largely pedestrianised so they’re taking no chances with safety…

    Incidentally, Perth had two hydrogen fuel cell buses on trial many years ago- disappeared without trace.

    1. JIMJFOX says:

      Correction! They started in S Perth but the bus was on the N or city side of Perth Water; still very quiet & a bit confusing due to the major development of Elizabeth Quay since I lived there.

      Very expensive place, Perth…

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