The Victorian Government has announced that it is working with the Australian Road Research Board in conjunction with La Trobe University and EastLink to test cars with driver-assistance technology on Melbourne’s EastLink motorway, as part of an 18-month trial.
The first of its kind, the 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 EastLink trials that have recently started will identify changes that can be made to freeway infrastructure and operations to help driver-assistance technology make a safe transition to hands-free driving on EastLink and other freeways,” said EastLink spokesperson Doug Spencer-Roy.
“EastLink is already the safest freeway in Melbourne with the least congestion, but we are not complacent. That is why we are already working with our trial partners to help smooth the introduction of new technology that will further improve road safety and traffic flow.”