Armidale Regional Council applies to become regional city in Easy Mile driverless car trial

EASY MILE: One of the driverless shuttles in Ipswich.
EASY MILE: One of the driverless shuttles in Ipswich.

IMAGINE a world where your car takes you where you want to go.

The idea could become a reality, as Armidale Regional Council prepares to become one of the first regional cities to trial driverless cars.

At a cost of $100,000, councillors voted unanimously to submit an expression of interest with Transport for NSW.

Council’s service leader Lindsay Woodland said a number of regional towns were keen to take part.

”There’s a whole series of community problems we could solve with this and we’d like to be at the forefront,” Mr Woodland said.

The total cost of the trial is $900,000, with a $100,000 contribution from council, the high-tech vehicle would remain in Armidale at the end of the two years.

The retail cost of the automated vehicle is $360,000 brand new.

Councillor Margaret O’Connor said it was very important to her that council take part.

“If we are successful in the allocation it’s one thing we can do to build Armidale Regional Council’s reputation as innovative and smart,” she said.

Council has proposed to work with the University of New England on the trial, with some routes on campus, across Armidale and potentially in Guyra.

The driverless car will have an operator on board at all times and travels at 45 kilometres an hour.

The vehicles are designed by Easy Mile and can carry up to 15 passengers.

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