The NSW Government has brought the trials of driverless shuttles to Coffs Harbour. This will allow regional NSW to participate and have a say in the Government’s planning for automated vehicles.
According to the report released by the NSW Government, three phases make up the 12-month trial that will commence before the end of the year. These phases will gradually increase the level of its complexity in order to test the vehicles in real world situations.
For phase 1, the shuttle service traveling to Muttonbird Island, operating on the Northern Breakwall connecting Coffs Harbour International Marina and Muttonbird Island.
For phase 2, the shuttle service will move to Marion Grove Retirement Village.
For phase 3, the shuttle service will operate on Harbour Drive in Coffs Harbour CBD, helping people travel between precincts and transport links.
There will be a shuttle supervisor on board at all times to ensure the passenger safety of the 12 passengers that the shuttle can carry at a given time.
A trial for automated vehicle is also in the plan for Armidale. According to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Mr Andrew Constance said the government is currently testing the state’s first fully automated vehicle at Sydney Olympic Park.
He explained that they will be implementing lessons from the Olympic Park trial but would still be tailored to Coffs Harbour, which will help deliver improved transport solutions for regional NSW. This initiative will prepare the communities for the future.
A two-year trial of autonomous vehicles at Sydney Park is currently being done through Transport’s Smart Innovation Centre. The NSW Government is working with industry and research partners, including Australian universities.
Automated vehicle technology has the potential to reduce death and injuries on NSW roads that result from factors such as driver fatigue, driver distraction, speed and inexperience.