100s of driverless vehicles in New Zealand at end of 2017

 

Driverless vehicles and cars that brake by themselves are being hailed as the future of transport in t

Driverless vehicles and cars that brake by themselves are being hailed as the future of transport in this country

In its briefing to the incoming Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, the Ministry of Transport said new car technologies would improve safety and efficiency on the road.

A spokesperson for the the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Nick Allison, said self-braking cars were already available here but would not dominate roads for another 20 years.

Mr Allison said the technology could reduce how much the Government spent on infrastructure.

“As we go into the future – and we’re talking 15, 20 years out when this technology is starting to become much more prevalent – then we would expect less demand on the public purse for building additional capacity than would have been there otherwise.”

 

NZTech head Graeme Muller predicts hundreds of driverless cars will be seen on New Zealand’s roads by the end of next year.

He was commenting on the historic announcement today of New Zealand’s first research trial of a driverless electric shuttle which will begin next year.

HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport Limited have today announced a two-year research trial of a 15-passenger seat French-built Navya shuttle in Christchurch, starting in 2017.

“This is great news for New Zealand,” NZTech chief executive Muller says.

“We are starting to see driverless vehicle pilots in New Zealand – the Volvo pilot in Tauranga in November and now the Christchurch Airport trial – but we are certainly not leading the world.

“Driverless vehicle technology is developing at such a rapid pace that many cities around the world are already piloting the technology.

“The government has done a good job of opening up the opportunity for testing this technology in New Zealand but we should set ourselves some stretch goals if we want to lead the world.

“I would predict that by the end of 2017 there will actually be 100s of driverless vehicles in New Zealand at various stages of trail and commercial operation,” Muller says.

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