New Zealand will be pitched as a test bed for advanced vehicles, such as drones and driverless cars, at a global forum for new transport technologies, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said Monday.
Bridges said he would lead a delegation to the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, this week and take part in technology demonstrations and meetings with transport leaders and groups from around the world.
“Fast developing ITS technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles, and unmanned aerial vehicles have great potential to contribute towards safer and more efficient transport systems,” Bridges said in a statement.
“To ensure we can realise these benefits, testing and trialing opportunities are needed to help us understand how new technologies will work in different environments, and what we’re going to need to do to get ready for them,” he said.
“New Zealand offers a fantastic testing environment for many ITS technologies, and we want to send a very clear message during this World Congress that we are open for business.”
Last week Bridges announced that the first New Zealand trials of a fully autonomous vehicle—a passenger shuttle—would begin at Christchurch airport early next year.
Earlier this year, the government backed moves by U.S.-based pizza giant Domino’s to trial pizza delivery robots and drones in New Zealand, although critics say the ideas still face too many practical obstacles to take off, reports AFP, Xinhua, Wellington.