States announce automated vehicle programs | Government News

Georgia Clark at Government News in Australia reports on Regional Automated Vehicle trials that have been approved for Coffs Harbour and Armidale, NSW. I get quoted

Regional trial a ‘milestone’

The NSW trial has been welcomed by an industry expert who says it indicates that Australia is “making progress” on automated vehicle technology.

David Levinson, professor of transport engineering at the University of Sydney, told Government News that rolling out automated vehicle technology in environments like regional areas has a number of benefits.

“The advantage of places like Coffs Harbour is that it doesn’t have the complexity of Sydney. It’s something more feasible to run now than in a more complex environment. One of the keys is the technology being introduced over time. You can’t throw the technology into a place where it’s not ready,” he said.

Professor Levinson said the trial was a “necessary check point and milestone” for the rollout of automated vehicles both in urban areas and more extensively in regional areas.

Maintaining the roads that the automated vehicles will be travelling on is crucial to the trial’s success and the prospects of such technology in other areas, he argued.

“This is not a random set of regional roads that may be in very poor condition, it’s a very specific series of roads. If you can’t run on these roads you certainly can’t run on roads in worse conditions,” he said.

Professor Levinson said that Australia will see more regional automated vehicle trials before the technology is deployed in other areas.