Vehicle technologies and new services
We have achieved major progress in the single most significant transition facing transport in many generations, with the arrival of automated, connected, electric and shared (ACES) vehicles. These vehicles bring are bringing major opportunities for the community with safer, cleaner and quieter transport, and will help to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable future with net zero emissions by 2050.
Transforming mobility through automated, connected, electric and shared vehicles
The emergence of electric, connected and automated vehicles will be the most significant technology transformation in many decades to benefit passenger and freight transport and customer mobility. Electric vehicles offer significantly lower operating costs, with clean and quiet operation, while connected and automated vehicles also offer many benefits, including improved mobility and network efficiency, freight productivity, congestion mitigation and improved road safety. NSW has been actively exploring these vehicle technologies with new shared service models.
Our Smart Innovation Centre has been trialling new vehicle technologies and shared mobility solutions, including highly automated and connected Smart Shuttles at Sydney Olympic Park, integrated with traffic lights and digital bus stops to provide a regular turn-up-and-go shuttle service.
Two regional trials of highly automated shuttles in Armidale and Coffs Harbour have informed the use of automated vehicles on NSW roads, with the Armidale trial also integrating with trip planner and the Coffs Harbour trial operating with On Demand bookings capability. These trials have provided insights into the safety case for adopting automated vehicle technologies, and customers’ use and attitudes towards them.
The Sydney Orbital Automated Vehicle Initiative conducted on-road trials of automated features with seven major car manufacturers to analyse interactions between vehicles and road infrastructure. We have also established a major new vehicle testing facility in Central Western NSW that will test automated safety features and connectivity with road infrastructure. These actions help us prepare for the safe adoption of automated vehicles and the development of new intellectual property in NSW.
Electric vehicles will be the first major wave of transformation in the vehicle fleet and NSW is committed to supporting their environmental and economic sustainability benefits. A total of $3 million has been co-invested to deliver 20 fast chargers in regional NSW and $2 million has been co-invested in charge points for commuter car parks in Sydney. An interactive cost calculator and digital customer information platform now helps buyers choose a suitable electric vehicle, locate charging points, and calculate cost savings and environmental benefits.
This $3 million investment in additional charging stations will help create the most comprehensive regional charging network in the country, opening regional NSW up to electric vehicle owners. The extended network will help further support the regional tourism economy and promote local investment in regional centres along the Newell, Barrier, New England, and Kamilaroi highways.
Paul Toole, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads
Significantly, NSW has a major goal to transition its fleet of 8,000 buses to zero-emissions technology, delivering a cleaner, greener, quieter and healthier future, and supporting NSW’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. In the first tranche, over 50 new electric buses will operate in Sydney, with operators choosing vehicles from a range of suppliers, including local manufacturers.
Making the switch to an entirely electric bus fleet will deliver huge benefits to the community in terms of reducing air and noise pollution, as well as to our incredible drivers. As part of this process, we will challenge the industry to begin an ambitious transformation of our bus fleet from particulate emitting diesel to zero-emission buses.
Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Roads