Armidale Regional Council
Armidale Regional Council is committed to its Smart City Plan to explore every possible opportunity to embrace technology in the development of quality services and to create a more liveable city for the community now, and into the future.
The decision by Council to express an interest in being part of an Automated Vehicle trial by the NSW Government aligns with out Smart City goals and vision to become a regional centre of excellence in technology innovation and research. Council has engaged a number of partners with specialised expertise to support Council delivering this trial to the Community.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said he was delighted the trial would come to Armidale and would be keen to hear from residents as they begin to use the service later in the year.
“It’s very exciting times – we are working with UNE and Edwards Coaches to bring this technology to our residents. This is cutting–edge technology coming right here to Armidale,” he said.
The trial will be conducted to the strictest safety standards, with global leader in the field Easy Mile providing the vehicle and Transdev partnering with council and Edwards Coaches to run the operations.
Transport for nsw
Transport for NSW is the lead agency of the NSW Transport cluster. Their role is to lead the creation of a safe, efficient, integrated transport system that keeps people and goods moving, connects communities and shapes the future of our cities, centres and regions.
The Armidale ARDi trial is supported through the Smart Innovation Centre, Transport for NSW’s technology hub established in 2016 to facilitate the collaborative research, development and piloting of safe and efficient emerging transport technology.
The Smart Innovation Centre builds and maintains partnerships between all levels of Government, the private sector, academia and investors to ensure that emerging technologies and existing infrastructure and projects align, maximising the benefits for customers and industry.
Transdev is a community moving communities. Bringing together international experience and local know-how, Transdev’s local team of 5,800 people proudly operate public transport services across Australia and New Zealand.
As a global leader in delivering innovative transport solutions, Transdev helps customers to understand and evolve with new transport solutions, keeping a focus on what matters most – moving customers seamlessly, efficiently and safely. The transport industry is moving faster than ever before, and innovation is at the heart of our operations and services. At Transdev, the future of transport is P.A.C.E - Personalised, Autonomous, Connected and Electric.
Transdev will operate and maintain the autonomous shuttle for the period of the trial.
Transdev Australasia CEO René Lalande said the company is excited to launch its first autonomous shuttle operation in Australia in partnership with the Armidale Regional Council and Transport for NSW.
“Transdev has extensive experience operating autonomous vehicles internationally, and we will look to share our understanding of how this technology will help shape the future of transport,” Mr Lalande said.
“Armidale residents can look forward to a public transport service that not only gets them from A to B, but at the same time gives them more than a glimpse of what the future of transport could look like,” Mr Lalande said.
University of new england
The University of New England’s Armidale campus accommodates around 6000 students and staff. Nearly 2000 students reside on campus in its residential colleges and travel between their accommodation and classes regularly.
This trial aligns with UNE’s strategic priorities of being bold and innovative and gives the institution a possible solution to reducing vehicle use on campus. The trial will run between the residential colleges and key location on campus.
UNE will be supporting the trial with campus facilities such as storage and charging stations.
EasyMile is one of the leading companies that specialise in autonomous vehicle technology and has a global reach with headquarters in Toulouse (France) and regional offices in Denver (USA), Berlin (Germany), Melbourne (Australia) and Singapore.
EasyMile supplies smart mobility solutions and autonomous technologies powering driver less vehicles – developing software that enables automation for various transportation platforms, a powerful in-house ﬂeet management solution for autonomous vehicles, and providing smart mobility solutions for transporting passengers or logistics on private sites, urban, suburban or rural areas in diverse environments.
WSP is a wholly owned subsidiary of WSP Global Inc – an international professional services company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. WSP provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural environment. Their expertise ranges from environmental remediation to urban planning, from engineering iconic buildings to designing sustainable transport networks, and from developing the energy sources of the future to enabling new ways of extracting essential resources.
In this project WSP will be providing two fold services, 1. Providing technical expertise for risk and safety assurance of the trial 2. Developing an engineering research white paper on CAV interactions with traffic and infrastructure.
Edwards Coaches is the local school, public and charter bus and coach provider and has been operating in Armidale for over 60 years. Edwards Coaches will be involved in all phases of the trial, supporting Council and partners with facilities and operator supervisors.
QBE Australia is part of the QBE Insurance Group, one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies.
QBE acknowledges vehicle autonomy as playing a key role in the future of mobility and sees the importance that insurance will play within this new technology. As such, QBE Australia is delighted to partner with Armidale Council and Transport for NSW by providing CTP and comprehensive motor insurance for the shuttle during this automated vehicle trial.
Through early involvement in this trial, QBE seeks to increase its knowledge in the data and risk fields associated with this new technology to determine the role insurance will play in future mobility.