The final countdown is on – the Volvo XC90 was unveiled in Adelaide’s Riverbank Precinct on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s historic demonstration trials scheduled to take place on the Southern Expressway.
Volvo will be testing its soon-to-be-released XC90 SUV on the Southern Expressway at Tonsley Innovation Park and at Adelaide Airport to demonstrate the self-driving and self-parking functionality of the vehicle used in their Drive Me project, which aims to put self-driving cars in the hands of real customers by 2017.
The company said it will be conducting the test program in conjunction with road research agency ARRB Group, Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, the RAA and Cohda Wireless.
The driverless car trials will involve multiple vehicles conducting manoeuvres such as overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and the use of on and off ramps.
The Australian Government has been very supportive of the driverless car industry and has submitted legislation before Parliament to allow for future trials of autonomous vehicles on South Australia roads.
“Our Government is providing the conditions for these trials to occur in South Australia because we recognise the immense benefits that autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport systems will bring to our communities,” said Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan.
“We are committed to providing the right laws to allow for testing of autonomous vehicles in our state to ensure that this weekend’s Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative demonstrations are the first of many. By making South Australian an attractive destination for global firms to test, develop and trial their technology on Australian roads we are telling the world that South Australia is open for business.”
The Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative is spearheaded by ARRB Group.
“Our key experts have been integral in assisting the SA Government to translate its vision of seeing Driverless Vehicle Technology into reality, and this week’s demonstration is a major and critical turning point for the entire nation,” said ARRB Group Managing Director Gerard Waldron.
“Autonomous Drive technology is already available in many cars in the Australian market. It is important that collectively as an industry we strive to educate the public regarding this development and importantly encourage government to make the necessary regulatory changes to facilitate the introduction of autonomous drive vehicles to Australian roads. For Volvo Cars Autonomous driving is a natural evolve from years of leadership in development of safety technology,” added Volvo Car Australia Managing Director Kevin McCann.