South Australia may have gotten a head start with trials in 2015, but New South Wales (NSW) is also committing to a driverless car future. Automated cars without drivers could be on NSW roads within five years, the state's minister for transport, Andrew Constance, predicted at a summit on the future of transport in Sydney Monday. "We're going to have driverless cars on our streets, in our suburbs," he told reporters. In his opinion, the South Australian government may have "jumped the gun a little bit" with its initial road tests last year. To support its own rollout of driverless cars, the NSW State Government announced the creation of a Smart Innovation Centre in western Sydney.
Seven in 10 Australians trust autonomous vehicles to take over when they feel tired, bored, or physically and mentally incapable of driving manually, according to a study by the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI). More than 5,000 Australians aged 18 and over were surveyed by ADVI and its academic partners, including the University of New South Wales, through an 80-question survey designed to help guide research, marketing, and vehicle design efforts. According to ADVI's preliminary findings, 69 percent of survey respondents said they would rather a driverless car take the lead when driving was "boring or monotonous", and 60 percent said they would prefer an autonomous vehicle during traffic congestion. Participants said the most likely activity they would spend their time doing in driverless cars was observing scenery at 78 percent, followed by interacting with passengers on 76 percent, resting came in at 52 percent, and doing work-related activities polled at 36 percent. Almost half, 47 percent, of Australians surveyed felt self-driving vehicles would be safer than human drivers.
Autonomous cars will begin travelling on CityLink and the Monash and Tullamarine freeways in Victoria, Australia next year. Beginning in March, the trial will monitor how the cars interact with real-life road conditions such as overhead lane signals, electronic speed signs, and line markings. The cars will also be trialled in semi-autonomous mode with drivers inside and capable of taking the steering wheel if needed to prevent accidents. Australian government to continue focus on digital delivery in 2017 Australian ISPs to block piracy sites from the pocket of content owners TPG outbids MyRepublic to snag Singapore's fourth telco license NBN equity to cost government cash balance AU$2.1b annually by 2027 NBN equity to cost government cash balance AU$2.1b annually by 2027 The trial is expected to take up to two years and will be managed by tolling company Transurban, CityLink's owner. It's also expected that road users will need to wait at least 10 years before they can own a driverless car given the technology being tested is in its infancy.
The South Australian government has on Thursday approved on-road trials of driverless cars on the state's roads. Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said companies looking to trial technologies on South Australia's roads will simply have to submit plans of the proposed trial and have sufficient insurances to protect themselves and the public. "These laws have received praise from companies at the forefront of this industry, which is estimated to be worth AU 90 billion dollars within 15 years," Mullighan said. "South Australia is now positioned to become a key player in this emerging industry and by leading the charge, we are opening up countless new opportunities for our businesses and our economy." The introduction of the laws in South Australia comes as officials from the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) are in the Netherlands taking part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge.
Following a AU 1.2 million investment, the Victorian government, in conjunction with the Transport Accident Commission and VicRoads, has partnered with automotive parts giant Bosch for the development of the first self-driving vehicle in Australia. According to Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan, the vehicle under construction in Clayton, Victoria, has been designed to navigate roads with or without driver input and includes the ability to detect and avoid hazards such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. "By removing human error from the equation, self-driving vehicles will play a critical role in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Victorian roads," Donnellan said. "This self-driving car is at the forefront of automated vehicle technology and it's been developed right here in Melbourne by local engineers." The minister said trials of the self-driving vehicle will be used to inform the development of regulations and infrastructure to enable similar cars to operate on the state's roads in the future.