By: Fabian Cotter

A FIVE-KILOMETRE on-campus route being used for an autonomous vehicle trial in the regional NSW city of Armidale is the longest shuttle deployment in Australia yet, according to operator Transdev Australasia.

Transdev has launched its first driverless shuttle operation in Australia this week as part of the Armidale Regional Driverless Initiative.

Transdev says it has brought its international experience to Armidale, launching its first driverless shuttle operation in Australia this week as part of the Armidale Regional Driverless Initiative.

Known as ‘ARDi’, it will operate a level four fully automated EasyMile EZ10 shuttle inside the University of New England (UNE) campus, providing a regular service between the residential colleges and the main university campus.

The five-kilometre route is the first of three phases for the trial. The next phase will see ARDi operate in the Armidale CBD, with the third phase extending the CBD route to the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).


Transdev Australasia CEO Luke Agati says the company was excited to manage the operation and basic maintenance of the driverless shuttle across all three phases of the trial.

"Around the world Transdev has moved 3.5 million passengers in driverless shuttles since 2005, and we’ve clocked up over 1.6 million kilometres of experience," Agati said.

"At Transdev, we see the future of transport as PACE – Personalised, Autonomous, Connected and Eco-friendly – and ARDi will bring a first experience of that future to the people of Armidale."



The Armidale Regional Driverless Initiative, co-funded by Transport for NSW, brings together the NSW Government’s Smart Innovation Centre with Armidale Regional Council, Transdev, EasyMile, UNE, WSP, QBE Insurance and Edwards Coaches.

The free on-campus services at UNE will begin on Thursday, 21 February, and operate from 10.00am to 10.00pm Monday to Friday with a break for charging in the PM peak from 2.00-5.00pm.

ARDi will operate at UNE for four months before moving to the Armidale CBD. Community feedback will help design the route for phase 2 through the CBD and linking to NERAM.

Further information and service updates will be available at

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Transdev is the largest private provider of multi-modal public transport, operating services across Australia and New Zealand since 1998, it states.

Its team of 5,800 employees move 150 million people a year across our seven modes – heavy rail, light rail, bus, coach, ferry, on demand, and soon autonomous shuttles – in Armidale, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington.

In Sydney, Transdev operates buses, light rail, ferry and on-demand services. Its approach is rooted in long-term partnerships with businesses and public authorities, and in the relentless pursuit of the safest and most innovative mobility solutions, it says.

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