Driverless Bus

Trial concludes

26 September 2017

The Driverless Bus Trial has now concluded at Darwin Waterfront.

This joint project from the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics and Darwin Waterfront Corporation has highlighted how technology has the potential to change the face of transport and how we connect.

During the 170 day trial approximately 6000 passengers rode the bus and more than 88 per cent of passenger feedback received was positive.

This innovative project also featured at the National Telstra Vantage Exhibition in Melbourne in September.

The project also won an ‘excellence in technology and innovation – on street’ award at the National Parking Industry Awards.

Findings of the trial are being compiled in order to plan the delivery of innovative, well-regulated and sustainable transport services in the future.


Darwin Waterfront - Esplanade - Darwin Waterfront

5-29 September 2017

The Driverless Bus Trial is a joint project of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics and Darwin Waterfront Corporation to realise the commitment of the Northern Territory Government to deploy and explore autonomous vehicle technology.

From 5-29 September 2017, the final stage of the 11 month Driverless Bus trial will test the on-road environment from the Darwin Waterfront (via Hughes Avenue) to the end of the Esplanade and return (refer to attached map).Key objectives are to test the vehicle’s capabilities whilst operating for longer distances, incorporating high gradients (Hughes Ave) and medium speed environments.

As the trial will operate at slower than prescribed road speeds, it will be planned for non-peak usage periods only. The general public will not have access to the vehicle and overtaking of the vehicle can occur when safe and legal to do so.

Hughes Avenue may be closed to traffic for periods when necessary and the alternative route will be via McMinn Street. Pedestrian access will remain.

The driverless vehicle trial has already carried close to 5,000 passengers and will continue to operate open to the public at the Darwin Waterfront between 12pm to 2pm daily until 29 September 2017.

We appreciate your patience whilst the vehicle is operating.

driverless bus trial route

Get on board the NT’s first driverless bus trial

The Northern Territory Government is exploring innovative autonomous vehicle technology by running a trial of a driverless, electric vehicle at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct.

Stage 2 of the Driverless Bus Trial has now commenced within the Darwin Waterfront parklands travelling within the pedestrian environment to link restaurants and retail shops.

About the Driverless Bus

The EasyMile EZ10 Driverless Bus can cater for passengers with reduced mobility including wheelchairs and prams.

The Driverless Bus does not require additional infrastructure, and operates autonomously following a virtual line mapped and loaded in the software of the vehicle.

A trained operator will be on board the vehicle during its operation in the trial. The vehicle will is limited to less than 20kmph during the trial.

How does it work?

The vehicle uses sensors to scan its environment, including LIDAR (lasers) and GPS.

A map of the environment is created and on this map a network of virtual routes is defined with sensors. The vehicle positions itself using its sensors and navigates on the predefined routes network.

Driverless bus with points

There is no need to book your ride

It is free to ride the Driverless Bus. Simply go to the Driverless Bus stops during the operating hours and jump on board.

When and where can I ride?

Stage 2 of the trial now travels within a pedestrian environment around the Darwin Waterfront precinct.

The daily service operates continuously between 12pm and 2pm linking the glass observation lifts, Recreation Lagoon beach area and shops including Trampoline Gelato and Crepe Escape/Oyster Bar.

driverless bus map

Why are we trialing a Driverless Bus?

The Northern Territory Government is exploring innovative technology through a Driverless Bus trial to deliver a transport solution at the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. The Waterfront Precinct is the perfect NT location for the trial, where there is demand to ferry visitors between dining, retail, recreation and business locations.

The Driverless Bus provides a safe low cost transport solution which generates zero carbon emissions when operating, is disability accessible and is intended to complement existing transportation, including public buses and taxis.

Stage 1

The first phase of the Northern Territory Government’s Driverless Bus trial operated at the Darwin Waterfront from February to June 2017, successfully carrying over 3,500 passengers to and from Stokes Hill Wharf.

This was to assess how this technology can operate as a passenger transport service on an open and public road environment. The trial has been well received by the public with high levels of interest in the future of transport technology.

Stage 2

The second phase explores the capability of operating within a dedicated pedestrian environment linking the glass observation lifts, Recreation Lagoon beach area and shops within the Darwin Waterfront Parklands.

The Northern Territory joins jurisdictions worldwide actively developing and assessing autonomous transport solutions including Singapore, Dubai/UAE, France, Netherlands, California and Japan.

So get on board the Territory’s first Driverless Bus to learn more about automated vehicles and see first-hand how they can be utilised to provide a transport solution.

Tell us what you think

We’d love to hear your feedback about your experience riding the bus. Please complete a short online survey to assist us in assessing the success and potential of the trial. This will help us make decisions about how the technology can be used in the future.

Please complete your survey.

Last updated: 29 May 2018