Wednesday, 31 January 2018

AUTONOMOUS cars could revolutionise travel and rural and regional areas and Armidale will be in the driver’s seat tomorrow to help develop a series of connected vehicle trials across the State.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Transport for NSW would host industry, local government and entrepreneurs at a session in Armidale tomorrow morning to discuss the emerging driverless technology.

“Driverless technology, if perfected, could transform the daily lives of rural and regional people with the potential to reduce isolation, improve mobility and save lives on country roads,” Mr Marshall said.

“However, country transport needs are very different to those in the city and it’s important that the technology and legislation takes our unique situation into account.

“Tomorrow’s session at the Armidale City Bowling Club is one of four to be held in country NSW – helping our region be at the forefront of this cutting edge technology.

“With so much potential for investment, invention and social good, we need to ensure this disruptive technology is introduced to greatest effect with minimal issues.”

The event will help the technology industry connect with local partners to develop proposals that will bring automated vehicle trials to regional NSW.

Transport for NSW is seeking a range of local partners including councils, transport operators, universities and businesses to get involved and partner with leading technology providers and researchers to develop projects that address real transport issues in regional NSW.

“Attendees will have the chance to network and present ideas for how they can get involved to develop trials which see how connected and automated vehicles can improve transport across the state,” Mr Marshall said.

“Although we have made some progress in this field with autonomous emergency braking, autonomous vehicle technology is still developing. We need to continue to prepare for change and embrace driverless capabilities.”

Autonomous braking was one of the first breakthrough autonomous technologies integrated for road vehicles. In NSW, around 12 per cent of serious injury crashes are rear-end crashes. This autonomous vehicle technology has been shown to reduce rear end crashes by up to 35 percent, at low speed.

The regional collaboration event will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm and there will be an opportunity to form partnerships and put forward a bid for seed funding to boost a driverless Transport trial in country NSW.

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