Oz readies for self-drive trucks
Bill to allow ‘real-life’ testing of the technology
SOUTH Australia’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan announced he would introduce a bill allowing for “real-life” testing of the technology, positioning the state at the forefront of an industry projected to be worth $90 billion (R1,26 trillion) internationally by 2030.
Prime Mover magazine quotes Mulligan as saying: “We are on the cusp of the biggest advance in motoring since the since the Model T opened up car ownership to the masses.
“In July, when we announced that South Australia would host the first trials of driverless cars in the Southern Hemisphere, we sent a message to the world that our state is open for business.
“South Australia is now positioned to become a key player in this emerging industry and by leading the charge, we are opening up countless new opportunities for our businesses and our economy.”
The Motor Vehicles (Trials of Automotive Technologies) Amendment Bill will provide for exemptions from existing laws to allow trials of automated vehicle technology on public roads. “As the first state in Australia to regulate a framework for such testing, we are opening our doors to global businesses to develop and trial their technologies here, while also creating the right environment for local businesses to grow and flourish,” Mullighan said.
Melbourne-based ARRB Group congratulated Mullighan on his foray, saying it aligned with the group’s vision to accelerate the safe and successful introduction of driverless vehicles onto Australian roads.
ARRB will be running the first ever demonstration of driverless vehicle technology on public roads in the Southern Hemisphere in November as part of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI).
“Whilst these trials from November 7-8 on Adelaide’s Southern Expressway do not require the legislative change as the roads will be closed, it is an important step for Australia to allow autonomous vehicles to be trialled on public roads in South Australia,” ARRB commented, with managing director Gerard Waldron adding that automated vehicles are far from science fiction, but rather a short-term reality that Australia needs to be prepared for.
“The advent of driverless vehicles is an opportunity to foster technological innovation and revive Australia’s manufacturing industry — the South Australian government has been quick to recognise this,” he 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.”
Mullighan added the new legislation would provide for safeguards for the public and would also require advance warning of every trial.
Good news for trucks as clever as Mater, South Australia plans to host the first trials of driverless trucks in the Southern Hemisphere from November 7-8.