The New South Wales government has announced two new regional locations for its driverless vehicle trial, with Coffs Harbour and Armidale to host fully-automated shuttles before the end of the year. Transportation is about to get a technology-driven reboot. The details are still taking shape, but future transport systems will certainly be connected, data-driven and highly automated. "We want to test this technology outside of the Greater Sydney area so our regional communities can be part of our planning for connected and automated vehicles," Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said. The trial will run for 12 months in three phases that Pavey said will have gradually increasing levels of operational complexity in real-world environments.
The New South Wales government has welcomed the first passengers on its Driverless Smart Shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park, with the service set to officially start next week, marking stage two of the state's driverless trial. Through its Smart Innovation Centre -- a hub for the "collaborative" research and development of safe and efficient emerging transport technology -- the NSW government in August last year partnered with HMI Technologies, NRMA, Telstra, IAG, and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to conduct a two-year trial of the shuttle. Legislation was passed alongside the formation of the hub to approve trials of automated vehicles. The hub has since added the University of Technology Sydney, to enable the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. The legislation allows government to partner with industry, researchers, and universities to be a testing ground for automated vehicles, with the trial touted as bringing driverless cars a step closer to reality in Australia.
The New South Wales government has announced the establishment of a AU$10 million fund to progress trials of driverless vehicles. The initiative, part of the state's 2018-19 Budget to be handed down on Tuesday, is expected to allow governments, universities, the private sector, and startups to work together to develop and test driverless technologies throughout the state. "The future belongs to those who hear it coming, and this investment looks to harness the power of technology to improve lives across the state," Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement on Monday. Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the technology will "change the playing field" and provide new opportunities for personalised transport services. "The technology is here and we are going to make sure we are ready to embrace it," he said.
The New South Wales government kicked off its driverless cars trial this week, with automated vehicles expected to cruise Sydney streets until October. Working with motorway operator Transurban and car manufacturers to develop the automated technology, the vehicles will run on the Sydney orbital network including the Lane Cove Tunnel, The Hills M2 Motorway, Westlink M7, the M5, and the Eastern Distributor. The vehicles will also be taking to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the harbour tunnel. Transportation is about to get a technology-driven reboot. The details are still taking shape, but future transport systems will certainly be connected, data-driven and highly automated.
Melbourne's La Trobe University has detailed findings of what it called successful on-campus trials of Navya's driverless "Autonobus" shuttle, which uses 360-degree cameras and sensor systems to detect objects and runs a set route based on map coordinates. A report on the trial by La Trobe and its project partners includes a number of recommendations, including further trials of the technology; considering autonomous vehicles in future infrastructure planning and investment decisions; and education and engagement of communities on autonomous vehicles. The Autonobus -- which drove students around La Trobe's Bundoora campus as part of a trial until July -- passed every test it went through, including safety, technical, operational, and passenger testing on a pre-programmed route, and interacting with pedestrians, cars, buses, and cyclists, according to Dean Zabrieszach, CEO of project partner HMI Technologies. "No other trial in Australia has tested an autonomous vehicle of this type in such a dense urban location," Zabrieszach said. "We have demonstrated that it can be done safely, without incident, and in compliance with road safety laws."