Connecting People with Driverless Cars in Armidale
The people of Armidale have a reputation for community collaboration and creating a city centre for learning and developing infrastructure to support digital enterprise as a long-term strategy for growth. In 2016, Armidale was recognised by the prestigious US-based Global Intelligent Community Forum and selected as one of the 21 Smart Communities of 2016, alongside select communities from Canada, Taiwan, the US, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden.
Driverless technology has the potential to transform the daily lives of people in regional communities by making it easier to visit centres and reducing accidents on country roads. Armidale Regional Council is collaborating with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and program partners EasyMile , Transdev, The University of New England (UNE), WSP and Edwards Buses to trial the technology outside of a metropolitan location.
Testing CAVs in Real Life
Over the next two years, the trial will explore potential uses for automated vehicle technology to supplement existing transport services. The trial will test various interactions of the CAV in several scenarios and live environments ranging from campus colleges to a dedicated route around and through the CBD precinct.
WSP provided technical expertise for risk and safety assurance of the trial along with developing an engineering research white paper on Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) interactions with traffic and infrastructure.
While the trial aligns with and supports Armidale’s Smart City strategy, its focus is on improving services to people aged over 60. Safety is at the absolute forefront of TfNSW’s values, and our team has successfully supported EasyMile in building the safety assurance and systems engineering framework required.
To date, our team has developed a comprehensive risk matrix which has identified possible scenarios and mitigation measures in the event of an incident or emergency. To inform future projects on how CAVs can be used to benefit communities, we will be developing a white paper on the data extracted from the trials around how the CAV interacted with traffic, infrastructure and people.