Manufacturing News

NSW eyes the future for autonomous vehicles in new trial

autonomous vehicles

An on-road Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Bus Trial will kick-start a New South Wales government plan to accelerate the uptake of autonomous vehicles on the roads. 

The NSW government is investing $5 million into the trial. 

With driverless vehicles expected to commercially hit local streets in under a decade, the government’s new NSW CAV Readiness Strategy paves the way to ensure the road network is CAV-friendly in the future. 

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Victor Dominello, said he wanted NSW to be an adopter of CAV technologies to keep pace with the changing needs and expectations of customers. 

“Vehicle connectivity and automation are game-changing technological innovations with the potential to sustainably transform the future mobility of people and goods,” Dominello said. 

“Globally, these technologies are advancing rapidly and already appearing in vehicles on the market today. We’re putting NSW in the front seat, with a Strategy and funding to back it up to prepare our road network, local industry, and the public for the roll out of this technology.” 

Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, said the CAV Readiness Strategy sets out a faster, easier and safer future for commuters across the state. 

“The NSW government is advancing new technology that will revolutionise the way we travel,” Ward said. “The CAV Readiness Strategy outlines six priority areas focused on integrating this new technology into our transport system. 

“This will include working within the national regulatory framework over the next five years, so we’re ready for the safe commercial deployment of CAVs in Australia. Getting ahead of the game will make it easier to upskill our transport staff so customers have a seamless service when it is officially on our roads.”  

NSW has already set several national and international firsts in autonomous vehicle technology, including the world’s first fully automated shuttle service in a public setting through the Coffs Harbour Busbot trial. 

autonomous vehicles
The Coffs Harbour Busbot trial.

“The NSW government is ready to embark on another Australian first – by investing $5 million for an on-road CAV bus trial that will see CAV systems developed and tested on full-sized, passenger-carrying buses in NSW,” minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said. 

“Expressions of interest are open now, and Transport for NSW is calling on local and international technology leaders to partner with bus manufacturers and transport operators to deliver the trial of on-road connected and automated buses. 

“This builds on what NSW has already achieved through autonomous shuttle trials, partnerships with local universities and investment in the Future Mobility Testing and Research Centre at Cudal. This is big picture thinking – by putting NSW one step ahead it will bring investment opportunities, knowledge and better customer outcomes.” 

The NSW CAV Readiness Strategy aims to: 

  • Test and deploy CAVs on the road network; 
  • Shape CAV policy, and customer outcomes; 
  • Get the road network ready for CAVs; 
  • Develop physical and digital CAV testing capabilities; 
  • Support freight services automation; and 
  • Increase local CAV knowledge and skills. 
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