30.06.2016 : Stephen Hewett

Could we be riding driverless buses?

Stephen Hewett (Beca Business Director for Transportation) joined Jim Mora on Radio NZ as part of The Panel segment on 28 June. Listen as they discuss the topic of automated buses and the future of New Zealand’s public transport.

According to New Zealand’s largest transit company, NZ Bus, we could!

Stephen Hewett (Beca Business Director for Transportation) joined Jim Mora on Radio NZ as part of The Panel segment on 28 June. Listen as they discuss the topic of automated buses and the future of New Zealand’s public transport.

They address the following questions:

  1. It seems automated buses are very close to being green lit. How do we know which way to go with mass transit – rail versus trams versus buses?
  2. Could buses and orthodox trains make way for autonomous trains and driverless cars?
  3. Could a combination of driverless cars, driverless buses and far more intelligent traffic direction make rail obsolete?
  4. Wellington's long, winding bus routes have many hazards. Is driverless technology really that close to coping with all of that at a decent speed?

Listen to the podcast.

About the Author

Stephen Hewett

Business Director - Transportation

Ignite Your Thinking

What Do You Think?

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Stephen Hewett · 7/07/2016 10:11:40 a.m.
Matt, This is a great idea and I do think electric bike transport will be a very important part in our future transport offering. Especially as the cost to purchase decreases. In a number of large Asian cities like Kuala Lumpur they have segregated motorbike lanes beside the motorways, as the small motorbikes can not travel at the same speed as the cars and are more venerable. More and more you will see these lanes taken up by electric bikes. In China cities their cycle lanes are full of electric scooters as their have transitioned from pedal to electric powered. Over the last five years Auckland has seen a large increase in the number of commuters using scooters and cycles to travel to work. This in my opinion is from the increased cost of car parking and the provision of more segregated cycle paths. The issue is that our city planners are not looking forward enough to plan for our future, and look for solutions that will encourage us out of our cars.

Matt Ensor · 1/07/2016 1:47:47 p.m.
Steve, I like your idea of not looking backwards to see the future! Do you think autonomous cars or buses are really the future or just more efficient cars or buses? Transformational change seems to occur through technology that changes something fundamental. For example some current e-Bikes (electrical assist bicycles) can let even the most unfit people travel more than 50km and at speeds around 50kph. If a protected lane is provided on motorways for them, then this could change the future of transport! CBDs will fill with cars too, not just buses, whereas e-Bikes take up very little space when parked.