Australia’s 'largest' automated vehicle trial announced

Bailey says success of such trails depends upon adapting existing traffic systems with new technologies

Australia’s 'largest' automated vehicle trial announced
Minister Mark Bailey says new transport technologies can significantly reduce crashes and crash-related gridlock.


Queensland has announced plans to host the biggest automated vehicle pilot program that will see around 500 fleet and public vehicles test the concept of connected and automated driving (C-ITS) technology in Ipswich.

The four-year Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) project will be funded by the state government, and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission and supported by Bosch Australia, Ipswich City Council and Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q). 

The state government plans to engage with transport industry members and other relevant stakeholders to adapt the existing systems, infrastructure and data to innovative transport technologies.

The on-road testing phase of the project is expected to kick off in 2019.

The subjects of platooning, driverless vehicles and automated vehicle trials have gained momentum in Australia, with other states including Western Australia and South Australia planning similar trials in the near future.

Earlier this month, the National Transport Commission (NTC) released automated vehicle regulation reform roadmap, which recommends a phased reform program to facilitate such trials.

Queensland roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says the state transport department is working with Bosch to secure its "highly-automated driving vehicle", which is co-sponsored by the Victorian government, for the trial.

"The Queensland Government’s CAVI project is another example where industry and government will work together to trial and validate the benefits these new technologies will bring to the market," Bosch Australia regional president chassis systems control Mark Jackman says.

"Project’s such as these are not just vital for the advancement of road safety and public awareness but also for the further development of technical expertise and capability of Bosch Australia engineers."

The vehicles involved in the trial will be retrofitted with C-ITS devices that will provide safety warnings to the driver about current road conditions that may not visible to them at that point on the road.

"These C-ITS devices work by providing safety warnings to the driver about a range of conditions – for example, a pedestrian crossing at a signalised intersection, a red light runner or a queue ahead that isn’t visible to a driver," Bailey says.

"Our interest in testing these vehicles is to help understand the implications for our infrastructure and drivers, and the improvements to automated vehicle performance when the vehicle can talk to other vehicles and infrastructure.

"These rapidly developing technologies have the potential to significantly reduce crashes and crash-related gridlock, as well as reduce vehicle emissions and fuel use over coming decades.

"While industry is leading the development of advanced vehicle technologies, the success of these will rely upon connecting to our existing traffic systems."

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard says the test-bed will be available for use by industry, academics and governments to continue to test new technologies.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden says the transport department’s move to the planning phase of the pilot "will have a strong focus on safety".



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