The city of Armidale will play its part in the future of regional transportation as one of two regional centres chosen by the NSW Government to host an automated vehicle trial.

Welcome to the Armidale Regional Driverless Initiative (ARDi), a partnership between Transport for NSW, Armidale Regional Council, EasyMile, Transdev, WSP, UNE, QBE Insurance and Edwards Buses. The trial will initially run for 12 months in two phases with gradually increasing levels of operational complexity in real world environments.

After initial testing and safety processes have been met, the trial will be conducted at different locations around Armidale, using a fully automated EasyMile shuttle with capacity to carry up to 14 passengers.

Phase 1: Operating at UNE Campus until the end of June 2019, targeting student and staff use and connecting residential colleges with key points across campus.

Phase 2: From July will introduce a shuttle service for residents around the Armidale CBD including the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in loop services. Phase two will also integrate mixed traffic vehicle testing and road infrastructure interactions including roundabouts.

The trial will begin before the end of February 2019 with customers hopping on-board the shuttle after initial safety tests have been carried out. Customer information on how to get involved will become available in the coming weeks.

Throughout each phase, safety will be a major priority, with an operating supervisor on-board at all times.