Driverless public shuttle
City of Newcastle has welcomed the arrival of its first driverless vehicle ahead of an Australian-first trial that will see it operate in traffic and connect with other public transport modes.
The driverless, 11-person vehicle will undergo rigorous safety testing, in accordance with national and state legislation and regulations to ensure it met all safety standards. The testing is under the supervision of transport operator Keolis Downer before it commences the trial in coming months.
In-built computers and sensing systems capable of detecting obstacles, anticipating movement and evaluating risk of collision, are what sets this vehicle apart from the risks associated with human-controlled cars. These systems are capable of detecting vehicle movement and are also able determine the travel route, make decisions to slow down, brake and alternate the vehicle’s path if required.
While the vehicle is fully automated, a chaperone, who will always be onboard during operations, will be able to stop the vehicle via an override system if required.
We are planning for passengers to be able to take in views of the City’s harbour along the proposed 2km loop service, from Watt Street along Wharf Road to Nobbys and back, making it very appealing to tourists. A larger circuit will include some of Newcastle’s other beachside destinations after further planning and testing.
More information and to check out the video
Helping you park
In an Australian first, motorists can now access new digital parking technology that guides them to available parking spaces within the Newcastle CBD.
The Find & Park function is the latest addition to City of Newcastle’s popular EasyPark app, which allows users to pay for parking and top up any additional time needed, remotely, using just their smart phone.
Find & Park has helped revolutionise parking in several European cities, and now Newcastle has been selected as the first city in Australia.
To use Find & Park, just open the EasyPark app before setting off on your journey and click ‘Find’, then enter the destination. An in-built map will then guide you, using audio prompts, to the best parking area closest to their destination.
The Find & Park map provides motorists with colour-coded ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ or ‘difficult’ options for on-street parking closest to their destination.
Currently, the Find & Park service is only available within the Newcastle CBD. We're currently working on expanding the footprint to other parts of the local government area.
The EasyPark app can be downloaded via the Apple app store by typing EasyPark or at Google Play for Android users. Just look for the bright pink square with the white ‘e’ in it
Motorists can also call EasyPark on 1300 734 070 for assistance with the app.
Drivers are reminded to adhere to NSW laws governing correct phone use while driving, such as using a fixed phone cradle only to make and take calls. For further information on this, visit Transport for NSW
Electric transit hub
No. 2 Sportsground and car park in Newcastle West is being transformed into an E-Transit Hub. With a 200-car space weekday parking capacity, and ideally located within walking distance of the CBD, the site is tailor made for the installation of electric transport infrastructure. This includes three Electric Vehicle Charge points with a 44kW solar carpark cover and 120kW battery storage (enough to power a Newcastle home for nine days), as well as E-Bikes for travel into the city.
Electric vehicle charging stations
To reduce carbon emissions and support and promote the expansion of electronic vehicles, we’re installing renewable energy-powered public charge-points across the city.
We've installed three new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at No. 2 sportsground in the Electric Transit Hub. The installation of EV chargers at No.2 Sportsground is the first of Council’s public EV charge network and will be a testing bed for future charging sites. The site includes a solar carparking structure and battery storage to provide 100% renewable energy for the chargers.
The installation includes one 50kW DC fast charger and two 22kW mid-range chargers and is capable of charging up to five cars simultaneously. The fast charger takes around 30-40 minutes to charge to 80 percent, while the other two take up to two hours depending on battery size and state of charge.
The No.2 Sportsground EV chargers follow on from the installation of the NRMA-funded fast chargers at Wallsend. Three other EV charging sites are planned for the CBD at the Queen Street car park, Laman Street and on Wharf Road by early 2020. The City is also currently planning the expansion of the public EV network to other suburbs in a bid to increase the delivery of renewably-powered and active modes of transport
The EV charger network project is part of the $5 million grant funding through the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program in 2017.
Improving the flow of traffic
To help ease congestion and free the flow of traffic, we’ll install a range of data-gathering traffic sensors to make evidence-based decisions on road upgrades. This data will also be accessible to help people make decisions about where and when to drive.