The NSW Government is spending $5 million on an on-road trial of a connected and automated vehicle (CAV) bus to boost the introduction of autonomous vehicles on NSW roads.
The new on-road CAV bus trial has CAV systems built and tested on full-size passenger buses in NSW.
The announcement comes four years after Coffs Harbour’s pioneering minibus trial successfully ran from the ruins of the city’s harbor to Muttonbird Island, with bus stops 2.6km away and a nearby retirement village. The trial ended in November last year and has not been continued.
Minister for Customer Services and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the new trial sits alongside the new NSW CAV Readiness Strategy, which will address issues including preparing the road network for CAVs, testing and deploying truck automation and driverless vehicles on the state’s road network. .
“Vehicle connectivity and automation are game-changing technological innovations that have the potential to permanently transform the future mobility of people and goods,” he said.
“Globally, these technologies are advancing rapidly and can be seen in vehicles on the market today. We are putting NSW in the front seat with strategy and funding to prepare the road network, local industry and the public for this technology.
Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward said the CAV Readiness Strategy outlines six priorities 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 are ready for the safe commercial deployment of CAVs in Australia. Being ahead of the game makes it easy to grow our transportation staff so our customers have seamless service when our roads are officially operational.
State Transport and Roads Minister Sam Faraway said expressions of interest are now open for the autonomous bus trial.
“Transport for NSW is calling on local and international technology leaders to work with bus manufacturers and transport operators to deliver road trials of connected and automated buses,” he said.
“This will build on the success of NSW’s independent shuttle trials, partnerships with local universities and investment in the Cudal Future Mobility Test and Research Centre.