Volvo, road research body ARRB group and the South Australian government have teamed up to trail the first fully driverless cars in the southern hemisphere.
It’s hoped these trials will establish how driverless technology needs to be adjusted for Australian driving behaviour, climate, road conditions, markings, surfaces and roadside signage.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, said in a media release: “This trial presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia to take a lead nationally and internationally in the development of this new technology and open up new opportunities for our economy.
“It’s predicted that within just 15 years, the international driverless car industry will be worth $90 billion, so we want to encourage other global businesses to come to South Australia to develop and test their technologies.”
ARRB Group managing director Gerard Waldron said: “Automated vehicles are far from science fiction, but rather a short-term reality that Australia needs to be prepared for.”
Kevin McCann, managing director of Volvo Car Australia, said: “We believe autonomous drive will lead to significant consumer and societal benefits, including improved traffic safety, improved fuel economy, reduced congestion, and the opportunity for improved infrastructure planning.”
The Volvo trials will happen in Adelaide on the 7th and 8th of November.
In other driverless car news, Google’s self-driving car was rear-ended in yet another accident last week. Google blamed the crash on the other, human driven car.
Three Google employees were taken to hospital with minor whiplash after the driverless Lexus cars was rear-ended at traffic lights in Mountain View, California.
“Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road. That’s a big motivator for us” Google Self-Driving Car Project director Chris Urmson wrote in a blog post. “The most recent collision… is a perfect example”.
The Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in 14 accidents in six years.