HMI Technologies in partnership with Christchurch International Airport and with the support of the Christchurch City Council have launched New Zealand's first fully driverless vehicle trial. The trial was launched by Simon Bridges, New Zealand's Transport Minister.
The public trial will incorporate a NAVYA ARMA electric powered autonomous shuttle vehicle operating on private roads of the Christchurch International Airport campus. The trial has multiple direct and indirect benefits for HMI Technologies.
This project will enable HMI Technologies Research and Development and Business Development teams in New Zealand and Australia to develop their expertise in the testing and application of autonomous vehicles. With autonomous vehicles set to be one of the most important disruptive technologies, changing the way we move people and freight, developing expertise in this area will further position HMI Technologies as a leader in intelligent transport systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
For HMI Technologies' Chairman Mohammed Hikmet, this is another fantastic milestone for the business and an exciting moment for New Zealand "It is very exciting to be able to launch our first autonomous vehicle trial in New Zealand, we are growing internationally whilst we are still proudly a New Zealand company, choosing Christchurch to launch this initiative was an easy choice, as we know the council and the airport are both very supportive."
The trial is being operated by HMI Technologies in partnership with the airport, while Canterbury University's Human Interface Technology Lab will be working to identify ways to improve human interaction with the technology. The New Zealand government, transport agencies and university researchers will also have the opportunity to learn more about the efficacy and applications of autonomous vehicles.
HMI Technologies sees this trial as a vital step on the path to ensure the country is prepared to become a fast-adopter and benefit as autonomous vehicle technology becomes increasingly prevalent. For new CEO, Stephen Matthews this trial marks a new era for HMI Technologies, "Building on HMI's impressive reputation as an ITS innovator, with this trial and more to come the business is positioning itself as a global leader at the forefront of the paradigm shift in transport technology."
HMI Technologies is actively seeking opportunities for further trials, seeking partners and test locations in the Asia Pacific region.
Source and top image: HMI Technologies
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing. Europe 2017 on 10 - 11 May 2017 in Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.