The City of Newcastle has unveiled its first driverless shuttle bus which will undergo a trial along a circuit around Newcastle.
The trial will last for 12 months and be conducted by the City of Newcastle, Transport for NSW, and transport company Keolis Downer.
ZDNet reports that the go-round circuit will run along Newcastle’s foreshore from Watt Street, along Wharf Road, to Nobbys Beach. If the trial is deemed successful after a couple of months, the circuit will be expanded so that the driverless shuttle bus can drive through more of Newcastle’s beach destinations.
City Council Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes told ZDNet, ‘We are planning for passengers to be able to take in views of the city’s harbour along the proposed 2km loop service, making it very appealing to tourists. A larger circuit will include some of Newcastle’s other beachside destinations after a couple of months.’
Prior to putting the driverless shuttle bus, that has the capacity to seat 11 people, onto the 2km circuit, it will undergo a safety-testing program to prepare it for customer services.
It has in-built computers and sensing systems that are capable of detecting obstacles, anticipating movement, and evaluating risk of collision, according to Keolis Downer New Mobilities manager Sue Wiblin.