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July 21, 2015 Comments (0) Motoring

Driver-less cars to hit the road

NOVEMBER 5 and 6 will mark an Australian first, with the first ever trials of autonomous driving technology (that’s driver-less cars for the uninitiated) to be held in South Australia.

Announced today, Volvo will join the ARRB Group, Australia’s national independent road research agency, and the South Australia Government to support the trial, with a Volvo XC90 being specially programmed to allow its IntelliSafe Assist (Adaptive Cruise Control including Pilot Assist, Lane Keeping Aid, Distance Alert, and Speed Limiter Function) to be operated hands free, within a controlled environment.

Volvo is heavily involved in the project, proving one of its top international safety experts, Dr Trent Victor, as a keynote speaker at the Driver-less Vehicle Conference (of which the physical trials will form part), and have plans to have more than 100 autonomous cars on the road in Sweden by 2017.

“As a leader in the development of autonomous drive technologies, Volvo’s aim is to make this technology realistically available for customers in production cars in the near future,” Volvo Car Australia MD Kevin McCann said. “Volvo believes autonomous drive technology will deliver significant consumer and societal benefits, including improved traffic safety, improved fuel economy, reduced congestion, and the opportunity for improved infrastructure planning.”

ARRB Group believes the trials will establish how driver-less 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.

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