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NSW spends $5 million on autonomous bus trial

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The NSW government is spending $5 million on a Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) test bus on the road as it appears to accelerate the introduction of autonomous vehicles on NSW roads.

The new CAV on-road bus trial, developing and testing CAV systems on large passenger buses in NSW.

The announcement comes four years after the groundbreaking Coffs Harbor trial of a small driverless bus, which was successfully tested along the harbor wall from the city to Muttonbird Island, at a local retirement home and then along a 1.6-mile stretch using of existing bus stops. The trial ended in November last year and fell through.

Victor Dominello, minister of customer service and digital government, said the new trial coincides with the new NSW CAV Readiness strategy, which addresses issues ranging from preparing the road network for CAVS, freight automation and testing and deploying the self-driving vehicles on the road. the state road network. .

“Vehicle connectivity and automation are breakthrough technological innovations with the potential to sustainably transform the future mobility of people and goods,” he said.

“Globally, these technologies are evolving rapidly and are already appearing in vehicles currently on the market. We are putting NSW at the forefront, with a strategy and funding to support it to prepare our road network, local industry and the public for the rollout of this technology.”

The Busbot in action in a retirement village in Coffs Harbor that offers on-demand travel. Image: Busbot

Roads Secretary Natalie Ward said the CAV Readiness Strategy outlines six priority areas aimed at integrating this new technology into our transportation system.

“This means that we will be working within the national regulatory framework for the next five years, so we are ready for the safe commercial deployment of CAVs in Australia. Being at the forefront makes it easier to retrain our transportation staff, so customers have a seamless service when it’s officially on our roads.”

Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said expressions of interest are now open to the pilot of autonomous buses.

“Transport for NSW is calling on local and international technology leaders to work with bus manufacturers and carriers to conduct the trial of connected and automated buses on the road,” he said.

“This builds on what NSW has already achieved through autonomous shuttle trials, partnerships with local universities and investments in the Future Mobility Testing and Research Center in Cudal.”

 

 

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