The first driverless vehicles for NZ

The Herald reports:

Hundreds of are predicted to be seen on New Zealand’s roads, and at one of our biggest airports, by the end of next year.

NZTech head Graeme Muller said the Government was doing well at opening up opportunities for testing the new technology, but said we needed to set higher goals if New Zealand wanted to be world leaders.

“I would predict that by the end of 2017 there will actually be hundreds of driverless vehicles in New Zealand at various stages of trail and commercial operation,” Muller said.

A driverless transport shuttle will soon be zipping around the grounds of Christchurch Airport – with future plans to have autonomous vehicles transport passengers.

The two-year research trial of a French-built Navya shuttle will largely take place at Christchurch International Airport from next year.

Muller called this announcement “great news” for New Zealand.

“Driverless vehicle technology is developing at such a rapid pace that many cities around the world are already piloting the technology.”

The driverless 15-seat passenger transport shuttle will at first be driven on private roads with no public present, and have a long-term aim of moving to public roads.

Great to see the trial happening.

A public transport analyst commented to me this week that we underestimate the potential impact of driverless cars on congestion. We have the two second rule between vehicles to allow for reaction time. Driverless cars do not need this reaction time, so you may potentially have three to four times as many driverless cars in a section of road, as existing cars.

Comments (49)

Login to comment or vote