ADELAIDE motorists are shaping up be the first in Australia to share the road with self-driving cars, with the South Australian government announcing a series of trials of the technology to take place later this year.
Under the scheme, Swedish carmaker Volvo will bring an autonomous vehicle to Adelaide to help it assess how the technology needs to be modified to integrate with Australian driving behaviour, climate and road conditions, and what needs to be done to local infrastructure such as road markings and signage.
The trial will take place on closed sections of the Southern Expressway on November 7-8, with multiple vehicles conducting overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and merging manoeuvres.
SA Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mulligan said the trials were an opportunity for Australia to position itself at the forefront of autonomous car technology beyond 2017 – the year that marks the closure of Australia’s long car manufacturing industry.
According to SA Premier Jay Weatherill, research predicts the international driverless car industry would be worth $90 billion within 15 years, “so we want to encourage other global businesses to come to South Australia to develop and test their technologies”.
Flinders University, Carnegie University, the SA-based RAA Telstra, Bosch and Adelaide-based car-to-car network specialist Cohda Wireless will work with Volvo and project leader ARRB Group on the trial.
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