Christchurch will host NZ’s first trial of a fully driverless electric vehicle in 2017

driversless carHMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport have agreed on the New Zealand based and funded trial, which is focused on finding answers to key questions about how these vehicles could operate in New Zealand.

The trials will largely be conducted on the Christchurch Airport campus, starting on private roads with no public present, with the long-term aim of moving to public roads once the safety case has been made and all regulatory approvals are in place.

HMI Technologies has bought a French Navya 15-person shuttle for the trial.  The vehicle is fully autonomous, has no steering wheel and is electric powered. The vehicle is expected to arrive in Christchurch before Christmas, with the trial scheduled to begin early in 2017.

The trial partners will work with University of Canterbury researchers and developers, who will help design and undertake the trials. Christchurch City Council will also use the trials to raise awareness of how these vehicles and other technology may alter the way cities work in the future. The Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Transport Agency will also be involved in the trials.

Read more and see a video of the vehicle on the Christchurch Airport website.

Author: CDC,October 4, 2016
Source: Canterbury Development Corporation
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