The NSW government is going to trial autonomous buses in Coffs Harbour and Armidale

SuppliedNSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey and the autonomous bus being trialed in Coffs Harbour

The NSW government is rolling out a trial of driverless vehicles in the mid-north coast tourism destination Coffs Harbour.

The year-long trial is one of two in regional cities, with another scheduled for Armidale in the New England tablelands.

An automated bus already operates at Sydney Olympic Park.

NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said trial will get underway before the end of 2018 using a level four fully automated EZ10 vehicle which can carry up to 12 passengers and gradually increase levels of operational complexity in three phases.

Initially it will function as a shuttle to Muttonbird Island on the northern breakwall between the marina and island. The next stage will involve a local retirement village before it moves into Coffs Harbour’s CBD, operating between precincts and transport links.

A shuttle supervisor will be on board at all times during the trial.

Pavey said the trial was a first for regional Australia with the NSW Government partnering with Busways, Coffs Harbour City Council, EasyMile, and Via.

“We want to test this technology outside of the Greater Sydney area so our regional communities can be part of our planning for connected and automated vehicles,” she said.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.