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Oz to host first southern autonomous tests

2015-07-21 10:40

AUTONOMOUS CARS FOR OZ: Volvo, using the same vehicles in its 'Drive Me' project, will conduct the first road trials of autonomous cars in the southern hemisphere in South Australia in November 2015. Image: Volvo

JIM PLOUFFE

ADELAIDE, Australia - Volvo will conduct the first road trials of autonomous cars  in the southern hemisphere in South Australia in November 2015.

Will they be testing kangaroo starts, one wonders? Anyway... The testing, by Volvo, will be held in conjunction with an international conference on driverless cars in Adelaide.

Volvo will test the same vehicle that’s being used in its “Drive Me” project  in Sweden. South Australia legalised driverless cars on its roads earlier in 2015.

DRIVERLESS CARS A REALITY

The testing is part of independent road research agency ARRB’s Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative.

ARRB managing director Gerard Walton said that automated vehicles are a short-term reality that Australia needs to be prepared for.

Walton said: “The South Australian Government has been quick to recognise.

“ARRB will establish how driverless technology needs to be manufactured and introduced for uniquely Australian driving behaviour, our climate and road conditions, including what this means for Australia’s national road infrastructure, markings, surfaces and roadside signage.”

Volvo’s testing will be undertaken in conjunction with Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, the RAA and Cohda Wireless.

PUSH FOR NEW TECHNOLOGY

The Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill said the technology promises to not only improve safety, reduce congestion and lower emissions, but also to provide a real opportunity for South Australia to become a key player in the emerging driverless vehicle industry.

Weatherill said: “This trial presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia to take a lead nationally and internationally in the development of this new technology and open up new opportunities for our economy,” he said.

The driverless car trials will take place on an expressway south of the capital city of Adelaide on November 7 and 8.

Multiple vehicles will conduct manoeuvres such as overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and the use of on and off ramps.

The International Driverless Cars Conference will be hosted at the Adelaide Convention Centre and Tonsley precinct on November 5 and 6.

 


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