Victoria and NSW are both paving the way for the states’ roads to host cutting edge driverless vehicle technology, with a regional trial approved by Bosch in Victoria and a fresh autonomous vehicle policy announced in NSW.
Victoria will be the among the first of the states to test driverless vehicles on Australian roads, having given the green light to electronics giant Bosch to conduct testing under the brand new Automated Driving System (ADS) permit scheme.
Under the state’s $9 million Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Trial Grants Program, Bosch will access $2.3 million in funding to conduct high-speed on-road testing on rural Victorian roads.
Testing will commence in late 2019 and is aimed at drilling down infrastructure requirements for the cutting edge technology while ensuring optimum safety.
Acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said in a statement that the decision to green light the CAV trials are an “exciting step” and that safety is at the forefront of the project.
“The tragic fact is that you’re five times as likely to be killed on a rural road than in the city. That’s why we’re rolling out a record roads investment in rural Victoria – and this is another way we can improve safety and save lives,” she said.
The Connected and Automated Vehicle Trial Grants Program forms part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $1.4 billion Towards Zero Action Plan geared towards reducing transport-related deaths and injuries.
Today, Acting Premier @JacintaAllanMP announced support for Bosch Australia to test automated vehicle technology on high-speed rural roads in Victoria with VicRoads. Learn more https://t.co/2Qf74PQUGI pic.twitter.com/KQGhClmXl1
— Bosch Australia (@BoschAustralia) January 21, 2019
New South Wales also announced a Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) Plan yesterday alongside its plans to prepare the state for an electric vehicle future.
Under the NSW plan, the state government will aim to have policies and trials in place within the next five years to align with its Future Transport 2056 outcomes.
Five priorities guide the NSW CAV plan, including laws and safety, infrastructure and planning, customer readiness, data and transport services.
In a press release announcing the NSW Electric and Hybrid Vehicle and CAV plans, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey stated that, “Vehicles in the future will not only be electric but automated, so we need to jointly consider these technological advances that will deliver safer, more accessible and convenient transport options.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.