Driverless trial in Victoria

A recently formed consortium will conduct a one-year trial of autonomous vehicles in Victoria to explore the use of driverless shuttles starting in August this year

Driverless trial in Victoria
The French-built Navya 15-person shuttle will be used during the trial


The project aims to explore the use of autonomous vehicles and create a framework to support the development new legislation.

Consortium members include leading commercial partners and technical experts such as HMI Technologies, La Trobe University, RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria), ARRB (Australian Road Research Group) and Keolis Downer.

The project is partly funded through a $375,000 Victorian Government Smarter Journeys Programme grant.

HMI Technologies is supplying a French built Navya 15-person shuttle for the duration of this trial.

"Autonomous vehicles are coming, whether we are ready or not, so we are taking this initiative to ensure we understand the implications for the community and Governments," HMI Technologies Australia CEO Dean Zabrieszach says.

"Many people believe we are years away from seeing these vehicles on our roads, but we disagree.

"Increasing levels of automated technology are being delivered, now so it’s important we understand what is required for autonomous vehicles to operate safely here."

RACV general manager of public policy Brian Negus agrees and says the organisation is proud to be involved.

"It is important that we assess the benefits and risks of this new technology and that we share this knowledge with transport authorities and the community, so that regulations can be considered for the State from first-hand experience," he says.

"Having the vehicle available to us, will allow partners to evaluate the community’s reaction to this technology and to assess the ways in which autonomous vehicles broaden our transport options".

La Trobe University’s Melbourne Campus will be used to test the vehicle, first with a limited proof of concept test and then in a real operating environment on the campus.

The vehicle will be using GPS coordinates and state of the art sensor technology for detecting people or obstacles on its path.

"The University is already on its way towards creating smart campuses that make it easier for students to use technology and enhance their education experience," La Trobe University deputy vice-chancellor of research Professor Keith Nugent says.

"Our Centre for Technology Infusion will be coordinating the shuttle trials and have long been involved in developing technology that links businesses, enhances mobility and shapes smart cities of the future."

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