The Andrews Labor Government is working with the Australian Road Research Board in conjunction with La Trobe University and ConnectEast to test cars with driver-assistance technology on the motorway as part of an 18-month trial.
The first of its kind research project will assess the use of semi-autonomous cars with safety features such as lane keep assist, auto braking and adaptive cruise control.
The testing will be conducted in traffic on EastLink to assess whether the latest technology is compatible with current infrastructure such as road signs and line markings.
The trial will test a wide range of cars fitted with semi-autonomous driver-assistance technology that require the driver’s hands on the wheel and are already being sold in Australia.
Following the research, ConnectEast will work with car manufacturers and VicRoads to ensure that vehicle technology and road infrastructure allows for the safe introduction of hands free driving.
The Andrews Labor Government is already developing the necessary legislative changes.
The EastLink trial build on the recent announcement by the Labor Government of public consultation now underway on the Future Directions Paper, which will inform Victoria’s future policies on automated vehicles and the start of hands-free driving trials on Victorian roads next year.
The ConnectEast trial has received $578,000 funding from the VicRoads Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Grants Program.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“We’re working with Australia’s top road researchers and road operators to ensure we’re at the forefront of this technology to reduce congestion and increase road safety.”
“This trial will pave the way for EastLink to support vehicle manufacturers activating the technology so commuters can enjoy all the benefits of safe hands-free driving.”