Amey to trial first retrofitted autonomous pick-up truck

The Australian arm of UK contractor Amey will trial what it describes as the world’s first retrofitted autonomous pick-up truck, which it says could help transport people in remote areas.

The vehicle, known locally as a "ute", was first displayed in Sydney at the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative last month (October 2019).

The trial will take place in March 2020 in the New South Wales city of Dubbo, 400km north west of Sydney, and will involve a passenger being picked up and dropped off, with the appointment arranged on an app.

Amey has also announced plans for technology that would help vehicles avoid hitting kangaroos. The company cites figures showing that collisions with animals make up 5% of all crashes on Australian roads, 90% of which involve kangaroos and wallabies.

Amey is working on the project for Transport for New South Wales alongside national and international firms.

Michael Holme, Amey Consulting’s project manager, 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."

Image courtesy of Amey

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