Queensland is preparing for driverless and connected vehicles, with ambitious plans underway for the largest on-road testing trial in Australia to ensure the state is ready for the future.
Queensland’s Main Roads and Road Safety Minister, Mark Bailey, has announced that Ipswich had been chosen as the site of the large-scale test-bed for vehicles and infrastructure that can communicate with one another using ‘vehicle to vehicle and infrastructure’ (V2X) systems, as well as for cooperative and highly automated vehicles on South East Queensland roads. Ipswich, in the Brisbane metropolitan area, has been selected due to its location close to an existing managed motorway. Bailey said the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) would be working with Bosch Australia to secure some cooperative and highly automated vehicles for testing, such as its *the?* first self-driving car developed in Australia, which has had funding from the State of Victoria.
The trials will take place over the next four years as part of the Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) project, which is co-funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. TMR will oversee the trials, which will be delivered with the support of a number of organizations, including Ipswich City Council, Bosch Australia and Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q). Additional industry partners will be announced as the project moves through a market engagement process. Road testing is expected to occur in 2019.
“The state government will recruit around 500 Ipswich motorists to take part, who will have their vehicles retrofitted with cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) technology. These C-ITS devices work by providing safety warnings to the driver about a range of conditions, for example a pedestrian crossing at a signalized intersection, a red light runner, or a queue ahead that isn’t visible to a driver,” explained Bailey. “Our interest in testing these vehicles is to help understand the implications for our infrastructure and drivers, and the improvements to automated vehicle performance when the vehicle can talk to other vehicles and infrastructure. These rapidly developing technologies have the potential to significantly reduce crashes and crash-related gridlock, as well as reduce vehicle emissions and fuel use over coming decades. While industry is leading the development of advanced vehicle technologies, their success will rely on connecting to our existing traffic systems.”
Bosch Australia’s Mark Jackman, said, “The future of mobility will be connected, electrified and automated. The Queensland Government’s CAVI project is another example where industry and government will work together to trial and validate the benefits these new technologies will bring to the market. The Bosch highly automated driving vehicle will be used in trials and demonstrations across Australia to assist government and its agencies to prepare for when these cars become commercially available. Project’s such as these are not just vital for the advancement of road safety and public awareness, but also for the further development of technical expertise and capability of Bosch Australia engineers.”