Hunter Valley town appeals for driverless shuttles for vineyard tours

An Australian town at the heart of the Hunter Valley vineyard region has expressed interest in taking part in a New South Wales (NSW) Regional Automated Vehicle Trial.

Singleton Council has joined forces with a number of stakeholders, including automated vehicle supplier HMI Technologies, to make a submission to Transport for NSW to bring an automated shuttle network to the region.

The driverless shuttle, dubbed ‘Autovino’, would deliver customers between wineries, restaurants and accommodation along a 6km route on Hermitage Road, set against the Brokenback Mountain Range.

“The concept of driverless cars is no longer the stuff of science fiction,” said Mayor of Singleton, Councillor Sue Moore.

“A driverless network is a perfect solution for visitors to Hermitage Road to experience the food and wine, craft beer, olive groves and day spas our region is famous for - without the hassle of driving between venues.”

The prospect of not needing a designated driver during a day of wine tasting is likely to appeal to visitors to the Hunter Valley. 

As well as providing a safe and comfortable way for visitors to experience the area, the project would help to deliver benefits for the local economy, said Moore.