The Victorian Government has partnered with VicRoads, RACV and Transurban, to trial connected and automated vehicles from manufacturers BMW, Mercedes, Tesla and Volvo.
The automated vehicle trial, which is already underway on the Monash-CityLink-Tullamarine corridor in Melbourne, will look at how to prepare road infrastructure, regulations and the community for the integration of this new technology into Australia’s transport system.
In making the announcement, Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the first phase of the trial will examine how features like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition, respond to the road environment including tunnels, road works, congestion, electronic speed signs and line markings.
“Victoria is at the forefront of automated vehicle technology – we’re investing in this trial to explore ways that this technology can be used to reduce crashes and keep people safe on our roads,” the Minister said, adding that the vehicles involved in the trial comply with existing Australian Design Rules and road safety regulations.
VicRoads CEO John Merritt said that automated vehicles had the potential to greatly improve road safety and to help the community, including people with limited mobility, travel with more ease.
“This technology is moving at a rapid pace, and we want to ensure our roads and the community are ready for these changes,” Mr Merritt added.
Transurban Group General Manager Strategy Wes Ballantine was also adamant that the technology will make traveling safer and more efficient.
“Automated vehicles will revolutionise how we move around our communities and deliver safer, smoother traffic flow,” he said.
Phase one of the trial will be complete later this year, with the full three-phase program to take two years to complete.