This week something important is happening in Adelaide. The first driverless car trials began on public roads in Australia, the first in the southern hemisphere. Volvo have turned up with their autonomous drive demonstration vehicle gives people a taste of things to come in the future. Internationally, there’s been plenty of on-road testing, with Google already logging thousands of hours on public roads. Fortunately Volvo’s implementation of cameras and sensors looks far more like a normal vehicle, rather than a large spaceship that decided to park on your roof.
This demonstration will include Volvo XC90 demonstrating lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and active queue assist in a fully automated mode.
If you can’t experience the trails in person, you will be able to live stream the experience, from cameras inside the vehicle. Telstra’s 4Gx network is providing the connectivity to get the video to the web for you to watch as the car navigates itself around.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said
“We know that about 90 per cent of all crashes are caused by driver error and driverless cars have the potential to see far fewer deaths and injuries on our roads in the future.”
There’s a race between auto manufacturers to deliver driverless vehicles to the public. After Tesla released their Autopilot a few weeks ago, that increased the pressure to deliver smarter and safer vehicles faster. Most were pointing to 2020 as the timeframe when driverless cars would be available for purchase, but it looks like this technology race is set to beat expectations. Volvo are looking at offering self-driving cars to consumers as early as 2017.