Hundreds of driverless cars will be seen on New Zealand roads by the end of next year, according to forward looking predications from NZTech CEO, Graeme Muller.
Muller’s claims follow news that New Zealand’s first research trial of a driverless electric shuttle will begin next year.
As revealed by Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport Limited have announced a two-year research trial of a French-built Navya shuttle in Christchurch, starting in 2017.
Terms of the deal will see both parties collaborate with the University of Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport.
“This is great news for New Zealand,” Muller said.
“We are starting to see driverless vehicle pilots in New Zealand - the Volvo pilot in Tauranga in November and now the Christchurch Airport trial - but we are certainly not leading the world.”
According to Muller, driverless vehicle technology is developing at such a rapid pace that many cities around the world are already piloting the technology.
“The government has done a good job of opening up the opportunity for testing this technology in New Zealand but we should set ourselves some stretch goals if we want to lead the world,” he added.
“I would predict that by the end of 2017 there will actually be 100s of driverless vehicles in New Zealand at various stages of trail and commercial operation.”