Out with the old
It is interesting that automated vehicle manufacturers are looking to set up manufacturing facilities in Australia, especially as traditional vehicle factories disappear, writes RandallJohnston
Indeed, state governments seem very keen to embrace trials of automated vehicles and these trials are taking place in just about every state and territory in 2017.
Still we are a long way off having a regulatory framework in place that will allow for the safe operation of driverless buses on our roads.
Euro 7 won’t exist; we are likely to skip straight to electric zero emissions technology in the years ahead. I was more than a little surprised to see that French driverless vehicle company Navya will establish an Asia-Pacific manufacturing facility in Adelaide after reaching an agreement with the South Australian Government.
Navya says it is attracted by South Australia’s carbon-neutral and renewable energy focus. The French rm currently has manufacturing operations in Lyon, France and Detroit, Michigan.
A plant in Adelaide will secure operations in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Paci c.
Navya’s ARMA shuttles are electric, 100 per cent driverless and can carry up to 15 people.
Most auto manufacturers and new entrants will have driverless car models on the roads by 2020 and a report by Intel forecasts the autonomous vehicle industry will be worth US$7 trillion by 2050; of which 47 per cent is expected to be focused within the Asia-Paci c region.
Less than a week after this news broke, what do you know … Ohmio Automotion will start manufacturing self- driving vehicles in New Zealand!
The vehicles will range in size from small to large shuttles and freight pods and customisable vehicles. A range of four Ohmio models is planned for production before 2019.
So how did we suddenly go from a region where it’s by all account too expensive to manufacture anything here and be globally competitive, to the economic jewel of the Paci c?
Beats me, but it is good PR for these forward thinking pollies and hopefully will lead to future jobs for bus industry heads down the track.
But there’s plenty more going on in October! Proterra’s Catalyst E2 Max electric bus was driven for more than 1773 kilometres, setting a new world record for distance travelled in an electric vehicle on a single charge in the United States last month ( p15).
We visit the Volgren factory in Perth to see what’s coming off the production line in 2017-2018 and how the organisation is adapting to a rapidly changing market ( p24).
ABC also sits down with the crew at Melbourne-based Dyson Group of Companies. Given the purchase of several smaller operators in regional Victoria, it has been a busy year for them ( p30).
The hard work is paying off for Marshall’s Bus and Coach after recent Custom Bus additions to its eet. Earlier this year the regional NSW operator took delivery of 12 new SB50 buses built by Custom Bus Australia for its school bus eet, so we take one for a spin ( p38).
Ten Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer Minibuses will be used as part of an on- demand public transport trial in New South Wales ( p44).
ABC partnered with this year’s Australasia Bus & Coach Expo organisers and hosts Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) on the Gold Coast. There was a tonne of new products and services on show at the expo ( p20).
Didn’t make it to the show? It was a mad rush even to get a photo spread from the expo into this edition, so we will bring you continued coverage in the next edition of ABC magazine.