SA Government announces $10m funding boost to accelerate development of autonomous vehicle technology

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The South Australia Government announced that applications are now open for the $10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund which was established to boost local testing, research and development of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

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In announcing the initiative, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the proposals will focus on three themes, including autonomous vehicle testing and demonstrations; connected vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure pilots and demonstrations; and R&D.

He said the initiative builds on the state’s recent achievements of staging the first on-road trials in the Southern Hemisphere, hosting the first international driverless car conference in Australia and introducing Australian-first legislation to allow for on-road trials of autonomous vehicles.

“From today, companies, industry bodies, research institutions and other organisations are able to submit creative proposals which will accelerate the development and implementation of connected and autonomous vehicle technology,” the Minister said on Monday.

“Connected and autonomous vehicles have enormous potential to save lives, reduce congestion and help people get around our community with more freedom. This technology can add to the improvements we are making to our roads with the South Road upgrades, increased road maintenance spending and Operation Moving Traffic measures to improve traffic flow.”

Mr Mullighan said the fund, which is worth $10 million over three years, will cement South Australia’s reputation as Australia’s frontrunner in embracing new automotive technology and help generate new high-skill jobs.

“We want proposals which will open up new opportunities for South Australian businesses and workers. This is the next step in giving South Australia vital access to this burgeoning industry expected to be worth $90 billion globally in less than 15 years,” he added.

“Our State is already home to world-leading companies such as Cohda Wireless, SAGE Automation and Sydac and we want to provide opportunities to further grow and keep building on these impressive success stories.”

The Fund will only consider projects taking place in South Australia, with overseas-based partners encouraged to participate by teaming up with local small to medium enterprises, universities and other organisations.