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DRIVERLESS CARS SET TO HIT THE STREETS OF ADELAIDE

25-07-2015
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The first on-road trials of driverless cars in the Southern Hemisphere will be held in Adelaide in November.

Volvo will conduct the testing in conjunction with Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, the RAA and Cohda Wireless and Bosch, which has engineers in Australia developing driverless technology.

The trials will take place on the Southern Expressway in Adelaide’s southern suburbs on November 7 and 8.

Multiple vehicles will conduct manoeuvres such as overtaking, lane changing, emergency braking and the use of on and off ramps.

For the trials, Volvo will bring the same vehicle from Sweden that is being used in their Drive Me project, a program that aims to put self-driving cars into the hands of customers by 2017.

The trials will also involve technology from Telstra and Bosch.

Independent road research agency, ARRB (Australian Road Research Board) Group, said the trials would establish how the technology would be developed for the Australian market.

ARRB group managing director Gerard Waldron said automated vehicles were far from science fiction.

"The advent of driverless cars is an opportunity to foster technological innovation and revive Australia's manufacturing industry – the South Australian Government has been quick to recognise this," Mr Waldron said.

"ARRB will establish how driverless technology needs to be manufactured and introduced for uniquely Australian driving behaviour, our climate and road conditions, including what this means for Australia's national road infrastructure, markings, surfaces and roadside signage."

The State Government has said it would pass laws to allow driverless cars on the road within a decade.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the trials will provide a real opportunity for South Australia to become a key player in the driverless vehicle industry.

"It is 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," he said.

"Driverless cars have the ability to revolutionise transport in this country and we want to be at the forefront of that paradigm shift.

"It is our ambition to be a test bed for innovation across a whole range of areas such as this."

The Volvo testing will be held in conjunction with an International Driverless Cars Conference, to be hosted at the Adelaide Convention Centre and Tonsley precinct on November 5 and 6.

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