It seems like only yesterday that the township of Renmark was boasting its new driverless bus, ‘Murray’, but almost two years have passed, and Murray has called it quits. While the bus’s current location is not known, the Renmark council has stated it’s ‘unlikely he will ever return’.
“He wasn’t built for the rural lifestyle”
“The first year was fine, he had his ups and downs like everyone, but generally he seemed happy,” Renmark council spokesperson Roy Marks said. “It all changed in the second year. I think the existential dread set in and he realised his life was set up to exist forever in Renmark, and he just couldn’t deal with it. The last few months leading up to his departure were awful, we could barely get him to start in the morning, he would go weeks without cleaning, he was obviously in a very bad state.”
The incident is also being looked into by the Australian Robotic Ethics Committee, where potential fines will be given to the Renmark Council for ethics violations regarding the care of the driverless vehicle.
“From the start it should have been obvious there were issues with a driverless vehicle in the town of Renmark. The traffic culture in Renmark is not one built around following rules, and for a robotic vehicle that is very troublesome,” said Anne de Roid. “We will be doing our best to ensure this matter is looked into very thoroughly.”
The AREC has asked that people keep a lookout for Murray, and to contact them ASAP if he is located.