A NSW mid-north coast driverless bus trial has moved into top gear, with a fully-automated public shuttle service getting ready to take passengers around Coffs Harbour Botanic Garden.
This next stop in the world-leading BusBot trial will see the shuttle service operate at the Coffs Harbour Botanic Garden in true driverless mode.
It follows a supervised roll-out in a retirement village and along Coffs Harbour's Northern Breakwall.
Based on EasyMile robust autonomous technology, the EZ10 vehicle - dubbed the BusBot - is fully electric and can carry up to 15 people.
The driverless shuttle follows a predefined route and is equipped with a full range of sensors to detect and avoid potential obstacles.
The BusBot trial launched in partnership with Busways, tech provider EasyMile and Coffs Harbour City Council in late 2018, with the autonomous shuttle operating with a supervisor between the International Marina to Muttonbird Island and also as an on-demand service around Marian Grove Retirement Village before starting at the Botanic Gardens last year.
In the next stage of the trial, the bus will operate without a supervisor but will instead be monitored remotely.
Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the vehicle had proven popular since the trial started, "so it's exciting to hit the next milestone by now removing that supervisor".
"The Coffs Harbour community has been thrilled to be a part of this history-making trial, with more than 10,000 locals and visitors between the ages of one and 103 taking part."
Busways Managing Director Byron Rowe said every step of this trial had seen a strong collaboration between community, NSW Government and industry.
"We are proud to work closely with the NSW Government and its commitment to explore future travel options to make transport even more accessible and convenient for communities for decades to come," Mr Rowe said.