Regional Automated Vehicle Trials
Transport for NSW has partnered with industry, researchers, local councils and businesses to develop and co-deliver connected and automated vehicle trials in Armidale and Coffs Harbour.
The trials will focus on customer mobility use cases and investigate the benefits and challenges involved in introducing emerging connected and automated vehicle technology to country NSW.
Each trial will run for 12 months in three phases with gradually increasing levels of operational complexity in real world environments.
The trials will use level four fully automated Easy Mile EZ10 vehicles with capacity to carry up to 12 passengers. Safety will be a major priority throughout the trials, with a shuttle supervisor to be on-board at all times.
Lessons we collectively learn from these trials will help us identify and implement new, creative and better ways to deliver transport to our customers. They will also help industry develop technology, products and services that can be deployed to deliver improved mobility for customers.
In Armidale, the trial will run in three phases, each targeting different demographics in the Armidale community.
- Phase 1 will involve testing by researchers and students at the University of New England.
- Phase 2 will introduce a shuttle service for residents around the Armidale CBD area.
- Phase 3 will expand operations in the CBD area and include the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).
The project partners include Armidale Regional Council, Easy Mile, The University of New England, Transdev, WSP, and Edwards Coaches.
In Coffs Harbour, the trial will operate in three phases at the following locations:
- Phase 1: Northern Breakwall – connecting Coffs Harbour International Marina and Muttonbird Island;
- Phase 2: Marian Grove Retirement Village; and
- Phase 3: Harbour Drive in Coffs Harbour CBD - helping people travel between precincts and transport links.
The project partners include Busways, Coffs Harbour City Council, Easy Mile, Via and Southern Cross University.
Proposal Development Process
Open request for expression of interest
On 1 December 2017 the NSW Government opened expressions of interest calling on industry to help automated vehicles transform Regional NSW.
Through the expression of interest Transport for NSW announced it was seeking to provide seed funding and partner with industry, researchers, local councils and businesses to develop and co-deliver a number of connected and automated vehicle trials across regional NSW.
To support proponents to develop innovative end-to-end project proposals, TfNSW conducted an innovative procurement process which included a number of opportunities for collaboration.
TfNSW held an industry briefing on the 13th of December 2017. This briefing was held in Sydney and aimed at securing interest from both regional and non-regional technology leaders and industry participants who would provide value in developing and delivering collaborative trials.
The industry briefing was attended by over 110 people from a range of sectors including vehicle manufacturers, technology developers, insurers, transport operators, researchers, telecommunication providers, state government agencies, local government and technology consultancies.
Regional Collaboration Events
The expression of interest process included four events across regional NSW to provide collaborative forums to link partners together and enable end-to-end projects to be developed. These events were open to any registered participant and provided an opportunity for participants to make short presentations on their interest in partnering with others to deliver a trial.
Collaboration events were held in Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Armidale and Coffs Harbour from 1-9 February 2018.
Over 100 people attended 1 or more events. Attendees represented a variety of organisations including vehicle manufacturers, local councils and interest groups, local and community transport providers, precinct owners, universities and research organisations, technology start-ups, telecommunications providers, technical advisory and professional services firms.
Online Collaboration Portal
In addition to the collaboration events an Online Collaboration Portal was established to help participants share contact details and identify potential collaborators to generate end-to-end project proposals. Over 100 participants registered to use the portal.
Prior to the expression of interest process closing TfNSW provided an opportunity for respondents to discuss their emerging proposals in interactive sessions with a panel of TfNSW stakeholders.
Feedback was provided in real-time to enable fast iterations and refinements to project proposals before finalising a submission. These presentation and feedback sessions provided an opportunity to co-design trial and use case ideas with TfNSW and assisted proponents in developing project proposals that delivered high quality and collaborative end-to-end trials.
Expressions of interest closed on 19 March 2018 with TfNSW receiving high-quality end-to-end proposals representing locations across regional NSW.
Armidale and Coffs Harbour have been chosen as the successful proposals.