The trial was held at the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) summit, and the announcement of the trail was made by Sidney’s transport minister, Paul Toole.
The trial will see Amey operate the world’s first autonomous pickup truck (known as a ‘ute’) around the town of Dubbo, 400km North West of Sydney.
The vehicle will pick up passengers who can order a ride through an on-demand app.
Amey is also investigating technology to improve road safety. The aim is to help with the detection and avoidance of kangaroos, protecting drivers as well as wildlife on Australia’s regional roads.
Collisions with animals make up 5% of all crashes on Australia’s roads, 90% of which involve kangaroos and wallabies. This is an ongoing problem that currently has few solutions. Research into the detection of these animals is a crucial step in improving safety on local roads.
Amey has brought together a team of local, national and international partners to support the delivery of the autonomous pickup truck project on behalf of Transport for New South Wales.
Michael Holme, project manager of Amey Consulting, said: “This is an exciting project for Amey in Australia.
“The power of technology in supporting mobility for those living in more remote areas of the world is of real importance. The trial shows the practical outcomes that can be delivered for our communities in Australia when investment is made into smart infrastructure.”
The project formally began in June 2019 and passenger service is due to commence in March 2020.
Not only are Amey improving road conditions in Australia, but they are also working on the transformation of a key motorway junction in Cheshire, UK to speed up journeys and reduce congestion.