Transport Minister Simon Bridges has welcomed the launch of New Zealand’s first trial of an autonomous electric shuttle at Christchurch International Airport today.
Last year HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport Limited announced they would be conducting a two-year research trial of a French-built Navya shuttle.
“Autonomous vehicles are an important part of the future of transport, offering potential safety, efficiency and environmental benefits. To fully realise these benefits we need to work with the private sector to test how new technologies will work in our different environments”, Mr Bridges says.
“It’s exciting to see a New Zealand-initiated trial where the skills and knowledge about managing and deploying the technology will transfer to New Zealanders.”
The trial, using a Navya Arma electric shuttle, is initially taking place on a private airport road visible from the airport’s passenger terminal.
“New Zealand offers a fantastic environment for testing and operating new transport technologies,” Mr Bridges says.
“Our supportive regulation around testing autonomous vehicles – which enables new technology to be tested while protecting public safety and encouraging innovation – have helped make this trial possible.”
“This trial is an important step for New Zealand, as we continue our strong tradition of embracing new technologies and market ourselves as a test bed for new technologies.”
HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport will be working closely with the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport as the trial progresses.
The information gathered during the research trial will be used to help make sure vehicles operating in public spaces in the future are safe.
Published as per Press Release. Image By New Zealand Government - https://www.govt.nz/organisations/ministry-for-the-environment/, CC BY 3.0 nz, Link
Video from Simon Bridges, Facebook Page.