Driverless vehicle headed for city streets

FUTURE: You'll be seeing one of these vehicles around Newcastle's scenic areas soon.

FUTURE: You'll be seeing one of these vehicles around Newcastle's scenic areas soon.

I'm excited to announce that a driverless vehicle will for the first time ever operate on Newcastle streets in 2019.
 
City of Newcastle is seeking proposals from qualified operators to trial an autonomous public transport vehicle that can operate safely in city traffic.

A small 12-person shuttle will operate around the city’s beaches and harbour front, cementing Newcastle as a leader in testing emerging technologies.

Our vision is to be a smart, liveable and sustainable global city and this project is yet another opportunity to showcase Newcastle’s smart city initiatives to a national and international audience.
 
Driverless car and bus technologies are at the cutting-edge of transport. This trial will help build our understanding of how the vehicles can fit into traffic-dominated cities and connect with existing transport networks.
 
We're partnering with a consortium of technology businesses to provide an integrated network for transport, energy and digital infrastructure to transform our city into a living lab.
 
The trial will go through a safety testing phase before people can ride the shuttle free of charge.

We aim to demonstrate that driverless vehicles are suitable for use in urban environments, test that our smart city infrastructure can support autonomous vehicle operation, and assist in the development of government regulations to facilitate the use of this technology in urban traffic.

Part of our Smart City Strategy, which received $5m funding through the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program last year, the trial will run for at least a year. 
 
Newcastle will join select cities in Australia - and around the world - trialling autonomous vehicles in urban traffic. Currently NSW requires a trained human operator to always be on board the vehicle.

You'll be seeing one of these vehicles around Newcastle's scenic areas in the near future.

Matt Murray