Kiwi intelligent transport systems company HMI Technologies is starting trials for its automated vehicles in Australia.
New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey announced the first automated vehicle trial in their state.
Taking place at Sydney's Olympic Park, the public will get to experience short journeys aboard the automated “smart shuttle” after preliminary safety tests are complete.
HMI Technologies are the project's lead partners, and it will extend its expertise in automated vehicles, and make a major step towards initiating the smart transport revolution.
The self-driving, fully electric vehicle carries up to 15 people and is programmed to navigate around the scenic grounds, venues and businesses at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
The trial is a partnership with the NSW Government, Telstra, NRMA, IAG and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
The trial will pave the way for automated vehicles to operate legally on Australia’s public roads, as Dean Zabrieszach, HMI Technologies Australia CEO explains. “The concept of automated vehicles seamlessly transporting people and goods and addressing congestion has captured the imagination of the public.
“They are no longer just a concept. However, while they are such a new technology, HMI Technologies is aiming to address outstanding questions.” “We have the expertise to fuse automated vehicles with intelligent transportation systems, artificial intelligence, location referencing and traffic control systems,” Zabrieszach adds.
“Trials will encourage the revision of legislation, systems and infrastructure required to make these revolutionary vehicles and their entire ecosystem an everyday reality.”
For Transport for NSW’s Smart Innovation Centre, who selected HMI, this is an important project as the centre activates collaborative research examining emerging transport technologies, as director Evan Walker explains. "The Smart Innovation Centre has been established to work with partners like HMI to trial innovative transport technology, in this case, driverless vehicles. “We know that this technology will improve things like the safety and efficiency of the transport system and we want to do trials like this to understand how we can make the most of the technology here in NSW.”
The Sydney trial, the first in New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia, is one of three automated vehicle trials that HMI Technologies will lead.
Planning is underway for trials at La Trobe University in Melbourne and Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand.
Each trial will help to test legislation and the supporting infrastructure which are critical for the adoption of highly automated vehicles.
HMI Technologies is continually looking for opportunities to work with governments on intelligent transport systems and identifying ways to develop and test new transport technology that will improve safety and efficiency of transport networks, including transport technology such as autonomous vehicles.