NSW public to try driverless bus in early 2018
“We want to use the trial to help develop the systems that will enable automated vehicles to be connected to our infrastructure, like traffic lights, and to our customers through their devices and applications.”
Sydney NSW is soon to join the ranks of places in Australia and New Zealand to run trials of a driverless bus.
The NSW Government’s Smart Innovation Centre is conducting a two-year trial of the Smart Shuttle, along with partners HMI Technologies, NRMA, Telstra, IAG, and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
“Today we drive our cars but the reality is, cars will soon drive us and while we are not there yet, we need to be prepared for this change and we need to stay ahead of the game,” said Andrew Constance, the NSW Government Transport Minister.
Electric bus specifications
The vehicle being tested is the Arma, made by French company Navya. It uses LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, cameras and GPS to navigate and negotiate roads and the surrounding environment. It can accommodate up to 15 passengers, and hit a top speed of 45 kilometres per hour.
On a fully charged battery the bus will run from between 5 and 13 hours, depending upon configuration and traffic conditions.
Sydney trial details
The trial of the Smart Shuttle is will begin later this month, with testing to take place in an enclosed, off-road area at the Newington Armory in Sydney Olympic Park. In late 2017 the trial will move begin operation elsewhere in Sydney Olympic Park, before live operation in early 2018. It will be in this live operation phase of the trial that the general public will have the opportunity to travel on the Smart Shuttle.
Said Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, “We want to use the trial to help develop the systems that will enable automated vehicles to be connected to our infrastructure, like traffic lights, and to our customers through their devices and applications.”
“It’s the combination of connectivity and automation that will provide the safety and mobility benefits we are looking for.”