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Driverless Buses Begin Testing: Would You Ride One?

Autonomous cars are still in the works, but Australia has already one-upped them. In Perth, the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia got permission for a three-month trial of an electric, driverless bus. Mashable reports that the test of the RAC Intellibus will take place along a 1.6-mile long route that takes about 20 minutes to travel in a full circuit.

Credit: Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia

(Image credit: Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia)

"It's a pretty busy place with parked cars, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, as well as dogs," RAC general manger told Mashable. "We needed a site that had a degree of complexity, but that was realistic for the site of a first trial."

MORE: Ford's Driverless Cars Are More Autonomous Than Tesla

A number of safety precautions have been put in place during the test. While the bus can travel roughly 28 miles-per-hour, it will travel only at 12mph. Seatbelts have been installed on the 11 seats, and while there is standing room for four, no one will stand during the trial. A guide on board the bus will be able to answer questions and, if necessary, hit the emergency break.

The bus has no pedals, no steering wheel, and, of course, no driver. Walker told Mashable that he expects autonomous vehicles to be widely available within four years.

Potential passengers can book rides on the Intellibus here.

[via Mashable]