Sydney begins driverless car trials in August 2017
It's specifically designed to join other cars on the main roads.
The NSW Government has given the green light to driverless car trials in Sydney's Olympic Park, set to begin this month. In doing so, it's also paved the way for a wider range of autonomous vehicle tests around Australia.
The vehicles on trial in Sydney might be best described as shuttle buggies. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour, and theoretically able to navigate their way along public roads, they'll be started off restricted to 10 kilometres per hour, and on pre-programmed closed road tracks. The tester and systems creator, HMI Technologies, has been running similar trials at Christchurch Airport since the start of 2017.
The Sydney trials, however, are specifically intended to help put autonomous vehicles on the roads next to human drivers and examine some of the challenges that might be involved. Once the initial closed track phase is finished, the shuttles will be moving to the main roads of Olympic Park's business area, where they'll be used as a shuttle service between the offices and car parks. Eventually, it seems likely that they'll also serve as shuttles between Olympic Park accommodation and events.
"We want to use the trial to help develop the systems that will enable automated vehicles to be connected to our infrastructure, like traffic lights and to our customers through their devices and applications," said Roads Minister Melinda Pavey.
The shuttles will come to a stop if something moves in front of them, and also constantly scan their surroundings for other hazards. David Verma, autonomous vehicles director at HMI, said the shuttles can follow their predetermined path to within a "pretty extraordinary" 20mm.
HMI chief technology officer, Ahmed Hikmet, speaking at the Christchurch trials, also previously said the the shuttle there could identify the vehicle's surroundings to within "a fraction of a millimeter." Last year the majority of Australians simply didn't trust driverless cars, but opinions are likely changing.
NRMA director Kyle Loads sees the advent of driverless car technology as a way of reducing the human cost of road travel.
"There'll literally be thousands of thousands of lives saved as a result of in the future people utilising autonomous vehicles" he said. With over 1,000 motorists dying on the roads per year in Australia, and an estimated 94% of crashes being the result of human error, the public rollout of autonomous vehicles is likely to start saving lives from day one.
The commencement of Australian tests is a significant step, because this trial is specifically intended to help get autonomous cars from the testing circuits to public roads, and because it opens up the possibility of other types of tests around the country.
While other nations are outlawing autonomous vehicles entirely, Australia seems to be going full speed ahead. Albeit only at 10 kilometres per hour to start with.
- Car thieves exploit naive car owners
- Airbag recall could affect car insurance
- Many Australian parents spend eight hours a week driving their kids around
- New laws in works for autonomous vehicles
- Victorians enjoying short-term rego
- RACQ sees a 7% increase in crashes involving animals
- Victorian speed cameras hit by computer virus
- Stop and give-way intersections most dangerous for cyclists
- Hands-free phone users more cautious at the wheel
- April road deaths down on average compared to previous five years
- Millennials and Gen-Zers lagging behind other generations for insurance cover
- Volkswagen to use technology to reduce road toll
- NSW to launch digital driver’s licence
- Would you travel in an automated vehicle?
- Canberra named animal collision capital
- Tesla Autopilot safety and refunds
- Car makers withholding repair manuals
- Making ACT youths safer drivers
- Crackdown on distracted and drug drivers
- Weeklong push for road safety and respect for 1,227 lives lost in 2017
- Do you shop around for car insurance?
- Are you ready for cars that talk to each other?
- Automatic braking systems are failing cyclists
- ACT trial for automated vehicles
- Japan lays out autonomous vehicle plans
- Tasmania drivers happiest with their insurers
- NSW trial for mobile safety inspection
- NSW wants mobile phone enforcement technology
- IAG Research says driverless cars decades away
- Queensland overhauls learner driving
- P-plate reform proposal for the ACT
- Young driver telematics trial
- Insurance data reveals March is a high-risk month for drivers
- Easter weekend driving warning
- NSW Government trial automated vehicles
- Afternoons most dangerous time to drive on NSW roads
- Are you eligible for a CTP green slip refund?
- Citroën introduce first factory dash cam
- Victoria is the car theft capital of Australia
- Afternoons most dangerous on Queensland roads
- Australians aren’t looking after their cars
- Rise in insurance code breaches
- Most common car crimes by state
- IAG release annual quality report
- Australian car insurance customers like to shop around
- RAC: Animal collisions up 25%
- What’s happening with Road Rules Awareness Week?
- Insurance companies may need to explain rate hikes
- One in four Aussies will hit the road during the holiday period
- Collisions in each state highlight differences in driving patterns
- Australians’ driving skills tested during storms
- New government plan gives free car rego to heavy toll users in NSW
- NSW drivers to save $172 a year on CTP
- Australians less cautious at railway crossings than normal road intersections
- QUT pushes ahead on study to prepare for driverless cars
- ACCC to investigate quad bike safety
- Study links tailgating with rear-end crashes
- People want to use phones while driving and no one can stop them
- Things you’ve always wanted to know about car insurance (but were too afraid to ask)
- Insurance disputes lead to rise in Financial Services Ombudsman complaints
- Self driving cars will make traffic worse: Study
- New documentary uncovers Australian drivers’ unsafe phone habits
- Australians bailing on their car insurance
- Car accidents cost Australians almost $30 billion a year
- Insurance renewal: loyalty or laziness?
- A ringing phone is a dangerous driving hazard
- Blockchain gets fishy: how marine insurance is embracing fintech
- Cyclists get first of its kind insurance
- Driverless cars come to Australian retirement villages in November
- Dominos and Ford test driverless pizza delivery
- ASIC’s new proposals to rein in dodgy car dealer insurance
- Tired drivers responsible for one death a day
- ACCC slams car retailers over shoddy practices
- Transport costs now being tracked in regional Australia
- India bans all driverless cars as Lyft announces rollout in the US
- QBE to refund $15.9 million to its customers
- How driverless cars could wreck our car insurance systems
- ACCC “alarmed”: Ford accused of deceiving customers since 2013
- ACCC issues new Takata airbag warning over faulty replacements
- New startup to solve Australia’s electric car problem
- Australians are less keen on cars than 12 months ago
- Money Hack: Hunt and stack up car insurance discounts
- Millions of Australians driving without car insurance
- NSW drug driving charges surge to all-time high
- New car insurance scam doing the rounds
- Death knell for car insurance cap
- Insurance claims soar following Sydney storms
- ACCC opposes cap on car dealer commissions
- Why insurance premiums will spike in 2017
- Middle-class Australians love boating
- The car insurers with the highest satisfaction ratings
- NSW road deaths are down but traffic fines rise
- ASIC: car dealers’ add-on insurance is poor value
- Aussies hit the brakes on car sales in July
- Road fatalities in Australia are on the rise
- More Aussies are choosing diesel-powered vehicles
- Aussie car sales stall in June
- Fatalities involving heavy vehicles are down over the last decade
- Allianz is now insuring ridesharing drivers