Science and Technology

RAC takes delivery of its first Intellicar – driverless and on-demand

RAC WA Intellicar side view
Source: RAC WA

It was announced back in December 2017, but RAC has taken delivery of a Navya level 4 autonomous vehicle, the first of several it is to receive. It will be tested first on a closed track, and progress to trials on public roads, with the public onboard, sometime in 2019.

Navya call this vehicle the Autonom, but it is named the Intellicar in its Western Australia guise. RAC is looking at this vehicle with a view to using it as an on-demand, shared mobility service.

Intellicar specs

Specifications of the Intellicar include:

  • Seats up to 6 passengers
  • 25kw electric motor that can push the Intellicar along in its test environment at 20 – 50 km/h
  • 80 volt lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery with a capacity of 33kWH, that takes between 3 and 5 hours to fully charge, providing a run time of 6 to 8 hours
  • Inertial Measurement Unit or motion sensor uses odometry, tracking how far the Intellicar has travelled, and in which direction
  • 2 x Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) antennae
  • 3 LiDARs, 6 cameras
  • 4 emergency stop buttons
  • Dimensions: 4.65 metres long, 1.95 metres wide
  • V2X detection

Safety, safety, safety!

“How we move around is rapidly evolving and being able to test emerging vehicle technologies right here in WA will help us adapt to these changes in the safest way possible,” said RAC Group CEO, Terry Agnew.

“Human error is the cause of the vast majority of road deaths and serious injuries, so if we can help WA and Australia safely transition to driverless vehicles sooner, hundreds of Australian lives could be saved.

“Every year, the cars we drive are becoming increasingly automated, and the adoption of these new technologies by manufacturers is only accelerating.

“Over coming years, vehicle automation will become more prolific within our transport network, which is why it’s critical we conduct trials like these to better understand the potential impacts and opportunities.

“Providing a way for our members and the community to get involved is central to our trials, and the feedback we’ve gathered from participants since starting this journey with the RAC Intellibus in 2015 has been very insightful.

“Having a robust understanding of the technology and what it means for WA will help develop a roadmap for the safe transition to our driverless future.”

Western Australia enthusiastic about smart mobility

“Australia is a strategic place to test, showcase and deploy new technologies in the region. The government’s, as well as RAC’s, enthusiasm for new vehicle technology, innovation and the need to make smart mobility solutions readily available to the community in this part of the world has led us to confirm one of our trials here in Western Australia,” said NAVYA CEO, Christophe Sapet.

Book a ride on the Intellicar

The Intellicar will undergo a three-stage testing program on:

  1. a closed track
  2. public roads, but closed to the public
  3. public roads, with opportunities for the public to take a ride on an Intellicar in a defined precinct

If you’d like to put your name down to take a ride in stage 3 of the Intellicar testing program, visit the Intellicar Trial Registration page.

RAC anticipate that stage 3 will commence in 2019 – more details on firm dates for the public trial will be announced by RAC soon.

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