The next wave of vehicles to fill the gap between cars and trucks is cheap transport vehicles.
The latest news from Transport NZ suggests the government has identified three high-value transport vehicle models.
One is the Lidar, which has a range of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) and is being piloted in Auckland.
It is the cheapest transport vehicle in the country and was the first vehicle to use the laser sensor technology.
Another is the “Bass” vehicle, a small diesel vehicle that can run for up to 50 kilometres (30 miles) on a single tank.
The third, and the most exciting, is the diesel “DieselBus”, which has been fitted with a new, high-tech radar system.
“The DBS has a full 360-degree vision, can detect up to 25 vehicles per lane and has a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) on road and track,” Transport NZ said.
“It is capable of a range up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) in single lane, and has been developed in-house for the Auckland region.”
The “DBS” is now being tested in Auckland and is expected to be ready by the end of 2019.
The company has also revealed that the LIDAR has been chosen as the transport vehicle of choice for the next wave.
“Lidar is a new technology and is not yet on the market, so it’s not yet available for use in our fleet,” Transport New Zealand said.
The “BASS” is another promising transport vehicle.
It uses the latest radar technology to provide 360-degrees vision and is currently being tested at Auckland.
The DBS and “DTS” are expected to launch around the same time.
The Lidars are being developed by the New Zealand Defence Force and the Auckland Transport Authority, with the former in the city of Auckland and the latter in the town of Whanganui.
The new “DASS” will be a “highly capable, fuel-efficient transport vehicle” which is capable to travel at up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour, Transport NZ says.
The “BBS” was developed by NZ Transport and is a fuel- efficient vehicle that was originally developed for military applications.
It has a “high-speed range of 150 kilometres per trip and can operate at speeds up to 100 kilometres an hour.”
The DTS is also being tested, and is said to be a fuel efficient vehicle with a range that is “up to 120 kilometers (75), which will enable it to operate at speed up to 60 kilometres an, hour.”
Transport NZ is also preparing a “safer and quieter” diesel vehicle for use by the public and businesses.
“Diesel buses will also be a high-capacity transport vehicle with the capacity to transport up to 2,000 people, the largest in the world,” the company said.
All three vehicles will use the latest technologies, Transport New England said.
They will be available by the middle of the decade, with all three expected to cost about $40,000 each.
Transport NZ says the Lidsar will be the “flagship” transport vehicle that will drive the next stage in the transport revolution, and that it is a “key driver” for its future.
NZ Transport Minister Nick Smith said the “Dass” is the best transport vehicle currently in use in the New York metropolitan area, but there were other options.
He said the vehicle is also “in-demand” for the regional centres and major highways, and will “be a huge driver of growth in Auckland”.
“It’s the only transport vehicle which can drive up to 130 kilometres (70 miles) with a single load, and it can go anywhere from 60 kilometres per minute to 100 kilometers per hour,” Mr Smith said.